Innisfree Social Club Longbenton
Friday 26th September 2014
My adventure began a few days before the show when I was called into our editor’s office at the Calling Spots Headquarters and asked to attend and review a show which was taking place less than 15 minutes from my home. To add icing to the already delicious sounding cake I was also told that Alex Kavero, a friend of the magazine, would be pitted against internet sensation Grado and there was a strong chance I would be granted the opportunity to interview the big man (provided of course that he survived his bout with the Charles Bronson lookalike).
I arrived at the show a few hours before the doors opened and was granted a small taste of what life is like behind the scenes at a UK wrestling promotion. I was introduced to all the talent, all of whom took the time to shake my hand and say hello, and promoters. I was unexpectedly allowed the chance to enter a real life wrestling ring for the first time ever. As I ran the ropes not only how tight the ropes were but also how unforgiving the ring mat was underfoot. Instantly I felt more appreciation for what my new friends would be going through on a short while. I spent approximately an hour sitting making small talk with Kavero, Robbie Ryder, Assassin and Dave Carbon discussing all things wrestling past and present. This included stories of gruesome injuries and even more gruesome sexual escapades. I was slightly surprised at how at ease they all were before the sold out show but it was interesting to hear them discuss currently wrestling gimmicks from around the UK scene and joke about how they would tweak the gimmick if it were theirs. Although it is unlikely to ever see the light of day I was intrigued to think of the possibilities such as muscular females valets called “Anna Bollic” and female finishing manoeuvres like the “Cunt Handle Slam”. I’m not going to name names but one of the wrestlers did shoot down the valet idea in case it was ever shortened to “A Bollic” leading to an announcer introducing someone as if they had lost a testicle in a horrendous shaving accident. I got the feeling that Vince Russo could learn a thing or two about self censorship from the MEW talent.
After the world class locker room banter I interviewed the aforementioned Kavero, Carbon and Assassin. I was taken aback at the difference in experience between the trio but it seemed clear that all had a huge affinity with the sport. The undoubted highlight of the interview cannot be adequately described in words but I’ll try my best. During the entirety of the interview the rest of the room was still getting on with their pre-show preparations, this included Chris Diamond demonstration the correct way to hit someone with a steel chair and Adam Christ go through some spots with his opponent Robbie Ryder. Midway through the interview there was a massive bang and then fits of laughter, I only saw what happened out of the corner of my eye but Christ attempted some sort of manoeuvre involving a flip as he hit the middle of the ring ropes but came down on the top of his head in a instant that brought back memories of Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 19. Except unlike the big girl Brock Lesnar, Christ instantly jumped to his feet and attempted the move four more times all without success. This was easily one of the funniest moments of my life and I truly wish I had caught it on camera to show you all, at the very least it would have been worth £250 on You’ve Been Framed.
After the interview I was introduced to Grado, who is genuinely as funny and personable as he comes across on television, then shown to my seat as the rest of the fans started to enter the room. For those who haven’t been to the Innisfree it’s your fairly standard English social club with a large square function room. It was this room that was set with the ring in the centre and surrounded on three sides by four or five rows of seats, with the fourth side being the stage and walkway. Unlike many shows i have attended previously, all of the 220 people in the room had a seat with a good view of the ring and ringside. My only criticism would be that the sound system and microphone weren’t up to the standard of the rest of the show meaning that it was difficult to make out what announcer Micky B was saying. Still, this did little to take away from the crowd’s enjoyment.
The first match of the evening was between Tony Spitfire and Prince Ameen. Although not a technical classic the bout did a fantastic job of waking the crowd. Spitfire effectively used cheap heat to encouraged the majority of the crowd to get behind him with chants of “En-ger-lund” and even got the dozen or so children from the front row to help pull Ameen’s legs while he was straddled around the ring post. Ameen was able to recover and use the ropes for leverage to steal the win. Amusingly one pocket of the crowd the started a chant of “India”.
Next up Assassin managed to overcome man mountain Chris Diamond despite Diamond spending much of the match on top. After the match the 15 year veteran, Assassin, worked the crowd and high fived the children who were beginning to spend more time on their feet than in their chairs.
Adam Christ then faced Robbie Ryder in a fast paced high flying bout. He was even to hit the aforementioned spot with the ring ropes. After approximately 15 minutes Ryder valiantly succumbed to Christ. Disappointing the children at ringside had spent much of the match harassing his valet, Kara Star, and throwing bottles and paper in her direction. This also led to quite am ugly moment at the end when Star and Christ had to leave of the ring via the other side due to the children pushing their chairs towards them.
Grado and Kavero were up next in the bout that most had come to see. Grado had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand as he danced and gyrated to the ring with his theme music “Like a Prayer” playing. Once at the ring he imitated The Rock by raising on arm in the air while standing on the middle turnbuckle, this included him holding his trademark bumbag in the manner The People’s Champion held his world title on countless occasions. The contest itself was a prime example that the old wrestling adage “funny isn’t money” is no longer valid in modern wrestling. The match included more gyrating by Grado, a Stone Cold Stunner by Kavero, Grado missing a F5 then pinning his adversary with, another tribute to Dwayne Johnson, a Rock Bottom. After the match was reminiscent of many Steve Austin classics as the pair shook hands and shared Irn Bru before Kavero doublecrossed Grado and left him out on the mat after a Superkick. He then left the ring and shouted “Welcome to Newcastle, bitch” before returning backstage. Once he returned to his feet Grado left the ring as the crowd chanted his name. For those watching both men’s credibility was increased and I’m sure many would love to see a rematch.
The tag team of Drake and Dragon lost to Robbie Ryder’s Mexican brother Loco Ryder and his tag team partner Janius Centurion via disqualification when their manager Mr D interfered with his briefcase. Unfortunately for the two luchadors the title did not change hands due to the DQ finish. To make matters worse they were then left lying on the mat after a run-in by The Country Club who annihilated Centurion with a steel chair then Ryder absorbed am impressive looking Canadian Destroyer.
The last match of the night saw AJ Anderson defend his title against Dave Carbon in a falls count anywhere hardcore match. Carbon did little to endear himself to the partisan Geordie crowd by coming to the ring in a Sunderland football shirt. What followed was not for the fainthearted as both men battled around the room dishing out stiff shots with fist and various weapons. Anderson’s chair shots looked particularly brutal as he hammered Carbon’s back with repeatedly. It was to no avail though as Carbon was able to overcome his pounding and win the title by locking Anderson in a Texas cloverleaf until he passed out and was unable to answer the referee. As mentioned Carbon had entered the match to boos due to his Mackem roots but was able to change the mind of at least part of the crowd as he left victorious to cheers after the hard fought clash. Anderson was also cheered on his return to the dressing room.
I have never attended a show where chants included “sexual chocolate” (aimed at Micky B), “briefcase wanker” (at Mr D) and “we want leg drop” (whenever action slowed) but felt the urge to join in with each one due to the atmosphere around me. Even my wife joined in to the point she was encouraging small children to insult the bad guys, not that they needed much encouragement, they were already pretty much rabid.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of Main Event Wrestling and will definitely attend their next show. Although they don’t provide the glamour of a WWE show and fans of pyrotechnics would be sorely disappointed, I can genuinely say they offered a fantastic show which captivated every member of a massively diverse crowd. Without a doubt I would recommend anyone to take the opportunity to attend one of their shows as I’m sure you will enjoy it too.
– Neil Rogers
MEW’s next major show will be held on 27th February at Innisfree in Longbenton with performers such as The New Age Kliq, Jack Jester and Dave Carbon scheduled to appear.
For more information search for “Main Event Wrestling UK” on Facebook or for tickets contact firstname.lastname@example.org