“A Mixed Up World”
So, today’s breaking news…. CM Punk walks out of WWE! Now, I am not going to claim to know everything, far from it…and certainly not about WWE! However… look at it this way, Batista wins The Royal Rumble, Daniel Bryan is not involved in the match itsels and the internet completely kicks off for 48 hours in absolute uproar over these 2 things…. then ‘suddenly’ CM Punk makes this decision and walks out…. who the f*ck has spoken about either of the first 2 things again since that news? In fact…can you even remember what the f*ck they were? What I am trying to get at is that WWE are the BEST company in the world at playing their audience, had Bryan been in the rumble match and NOT won it (heaven forbid) in favour of Batista winning would that have caused more uproar or less? I think the answer to that one is pretty damn obvious!
Now, when I say that I do not know everything about WWE, I really do mean it… The Royal Rumble was the very first time I had tuned in to watch any WWE since last years Rumble, that is unless you count a VERY drunken night in the Manchester Students Union bar following the debut show of HXC Wrestling where they were showing Wrestlemania last year… I was more interested in the fact that pints of Stella were £1.75 a pint and we only had 4 hours with which to take advantage of this fact! In fact, the more I think of that night, the more I laugh at the fact that myself and Kris Travis had a pact to get as ‘fucked up’ as possible during Mania….when I produced 18 bottles of VK on the table infront of the the 2 of us and said, ‘race you’ ,the look on his face changed rather quickly! Now Trav can drink with the best of them….in fact…we pretty much have the same diet, McDonalds, Pizza, Chinese, plenty of alcohol… clear to see why we have the exact same physique as each other isn’t it? Anyway…I reckon I watched about 10 minutes worth of Mania so I am really not going to count that! So…. for the first time in 12 months, I turn on a WWE event and settle down to watch it in the solitude of my own home…. and I can honestly say, I shall probably again not watch another event until this time next year. Seeing Husky Harris (as I last knew him) sporting this new gimmick and having a 5* match with Bryan as the opener set me up thinking the event was going to be superb but for me, the rest of it was just a non-runner. I am usually a big supporter of John Cena, his ring work, when you look back over the past 10 years has come on leaps and bounds and his work rate is second to none….however even I could not even begin to fathom a single thing about the match with Randy BORE-ton….. for me, total rubbish and what the crowd thought was clear for all to hear! I’m sure there was another match on the undercard as well but it obviously grabbed my attention that much that I have erased it from my memory!!
This led on to my favourite style of match of all time….the Rumble match itself. The classic rumbles all fresh in my mind I came into this with high hopes of another classic but for me, again, it was just a total non-runner. Maybe it is my own fault for not knowing 60% or so of the guys in it (aside from by their less cool Indy names….and usually only because I have been bullied into watching ROH or PWG!) so not really having the desire to invest my hopes and interests into them as individuals. I was never a Batista fan so his return did little to wet my appetite and in all honest the whole match kinda passed me by! Ah well, for me, the US product is just not one that interests me anymore. Hopefully one day it will grab my attention again but until then I shall focus my energies closer to home. Which brings me on nicely….
This week, 2 of the best up and coming promotions in the UK had their first shows back of the year, Liverpool’s Infinite Promotions made, from what I hear, a very triumphant return with an attendance to rival the biggest shows in the UK. I have not seen or read a bad word about the show and it is highly commendable that Jack Rea and Kieran McConnell have built such a wonderful product from the ground up with a wide array of characters and gimmicks giving a different dimension to each match on the show. Very well done and long may their success continue. They are living proof that, despite having used a couple of imports in the past, you do not necessarily have to have big name US Imports on a show in order to draw…something that I am really trying to push with my own House Of Pain Evolution (that returns on March 21st by the way and shall debut in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire). Infinite are a promotion that I have a very keen interest in and would very much like to be a part of one day, in one capacity or another.
The othe promotion making its triumphant return for 2014 this week was Leicester Championship Wrestling. LCW is a promotion very close to my heart, I have been lucky enough to be involved in some fantastic matches there over the past year and watched the promotion grow and go from strength to strength, using a lot of very talented guys from the Nottingham area as well so obviously that is a huge bonus and plus point for myself to see happening. The likes of Battle Squad : Awesome (whom still need your votes to get over the finish line on the PCW Tag Title Challenge Competition – please click the link at the bottom of the page to go directly to the video and give it a like for us), LJ Heron, Jurgen Heimlich, Max Angelus and Joseph Conners, all guys that will be playing a big role for us in HOP:E this year are now established regulars on the show and I was very pleased to see Zack Northern, “Roughouse” Stevie Mitchell and Barricade getting themselves onto the card as part of the LCW Rumble match, 3 young men who again, have a very bright future in the UK this year I am sure. As with the reported attendance at Inifinite, I have to say I was thrilled to bits to see the attendance once again at LCW reaching soaring heights, with hardly an empty seat in the place and a top draw show from top to bottom.
I would like to now move onto a more personal issue and to clear something up. It was bought to my attention earlier in the week that there had been some negativity regarding the show at LCW on the good old world of UKFF! Now, I was under the impression that UKFF was now a dead site and more like a ghost town than an internet forum but upon hearing this I felt compelled to go on and have a look and found a review on there of the show that points negativity squarely at a couple of decisions made by LCW. Decision 1 was the inclusion of some apparent ‘unknown’ talents in the Rumble match itself and it was indeed mentioned that I was sat in the venue watching the show…. now allow me to clear up this point. I am currently not working the LCW shows, I withdrew MYSELF back in October last year from the active roster there and received nothing but support from LCW owner John Shipley who offered me the opportunity to change my decision right up until the very day before his show. It would have made NO sense in the grand scheme of things to needlessly throw me into the match there to make up the numbers or for any other reason. I presume that some of the ‘unknown’ wrestlers being spoken about were also some of the affore mentioned House Of Pain lads such as Stevie Mitchell, Barricade and Northern, now I will tell you this for nothing…if there are 3 lads ANYWHERE in the UK that work harder in training and put in more effort with their work than these 3 young lads do then I will eat my hat! They were in that match on merit having been scouted by LCW at a House Of Pain show last year. As for the other inclusions in the match, I would draw you back to the gold old days of the WWF and look at some of the people who were included in early rumble matches, LONG before they made names for themselves…Shane Douglas is one that springs straight to mind, sporting long flowing locks and a fresh baby face, Douglas was in the 1990 Royal Rumble… how many people watching that would have known who he was at that time though? A rumble opportunity is a chance for new talent to get in front of an audience and give an account of themselves as best they can! If you don’t like it…don’t go to a show entitled ‘Rumble’!
This brings me nicely on to point number 2 of the negativity displayed on UKFF…and please bear with me as this could be a long one!! It is no secret amongst the majority of people in the UK now, both fans and workers alike that myself and Alex Gracie do not get along anymore. The negativity on UKFF is directed towards LCW’s decision to put their title onto Gracie during a multi-man match on this show that included Stixx, Kris Travis, Max Angelus, Robbie X and the defending champion LJ Heron whom had only take the belt back from Stixx at the previous show back in December. Now, I couldn’t fathom if the issue and point being made was more that the person felt that switching the title again in such a fashion so soon after Heron winning it back was the wrong decision or if in fact the problem lay with their choice of Champion. I have had it mentioned to me that it is being talked about that I am suspected either of influencing the reviewer with my own opinions or infact of being involved in the entire writing of the review… so allow me to clear something up for you all! If I have something to say about someone then I say it…no hiding, no bullsh*t, I just come out, all guns blazing and say what I have to say… you all see where this is going don’t you? As a human being I think that Alex Gracie is possibly the lowest form of pond scum around, one of those people that I would not piss on if he was on fire…however, my own PERSONAL feelings on the guy do not have any bearing on my thoughts of him as a wrestler. I used Gracie and gave him one hell of a push within HOP:E over the first few shows , putting him in matches with Mark Haskins, Martin Kirby, Max Angelus, El Ligero, CJ Banks, Joseph Conners, Robbie X, Ryan Smile, Wild Boar, LJ Heron and others etc…so if I thought he was no good and couldn’t get the job done when asked then I would be a f*cking hypocrite. As it stands the guy is young and is an up and coming talent in this country. Now…do I think he is the right man to lead LCW as a champion at this time, no, I do not, but I know one thing for dam sure…. LCW will do their very f*cking best to make sure that he is and I wish them every success in doing so. Should anyone have any questions regarding my involvement in anything negative that has been said surrounding this decision please feel free to contact me publicly either via facebook or on my twitter as I will be more than happy to re-itterate my thoughts and feelings on the matter.
Now that that is over and done with it wouldn’t be right of me to mention Saturday’s shows without putting something in about the once again hugely triumphant returns of both Progress Wrestling (10 sell out shows down and another on the way in a BIGGER venue) and Futureshock for 2014… Futureshock in their TENTH year…what an achievement for a promotion born out of a training academy that has produced some of the very best talents we have in the UK today! Despite all of the drizzling shits promotions that are still knocking around, I am confident that there is enough good ones out there now to really carry us on to the next level and onwards for the future! Ps….If Progress are reading this…I love your shows….please book me…i’m ever so good! 😉
So what is up and coming for me in the next few weeks? Aside from it being my birthday on Friday (yes you can all wish me a Happy Birthday on my Facebook wall and I expect Jack Daniels to be winging its way to a show for me in the near future), I have a number of exciting things in the pipeline. House Of Pain : Evolution is set to return on Friday March 21st and will debut in Mansfield at a brand new venue for us. I am also pleased to have welcomed 2 new partners into the fold and to have gained some real stability for the product that hopefully shall see us one day sat here (probably with me still writing this column) in 10 years time celebrating our own anniversary year! What of me and Southside Wrestling?? Those of you that follow my character will know that during a match back in November, I lost my job with the company having been pinned by my arch nemesis (the Hair-Bender) Diamond Dale Mills. I have since had time to sit and reflect on my actions and decisions and have sent a video apology to Southside Management so watch this space… I hope to receive some form of communication from them in the near future. I would also obviously be wrong not to put in about the fact that they have announced that Sean Waltman – THE X-Pac will be debuting for them in the summer!! Tickets for that one WILL sell out quickly so if I were you I would not hang around in getting them….I may still need to buy one myself! I am also pleased to announce that I shall be making my own London debut for Future Pro Wrestling on February 9th as I accompany Stixx & Iestyn Rees to the ring, something that I am very eager to do and very grateful for getting the opportunity.
I guess that only leaves one thing to mention…. this time next month, I hope to be reporting on the debut’s of Battle Squad : Awesome and the mysterious “Tasselman” at PCW, of course I shall be in attendance watching the shows to see how the boys get on…but don’t count your chickens yet…the boys are not home and dry yet and really DO need YOUR help in order to get over the finish line…… please click this link…. https://www.facebook.com/PrestonCityWrestling/posts/712379758793253?notif_t=like which will take you DIRECTLY to the promo video for these epic Avengers… please take just 2 seconds out of your day to click ‘like’ on the video and help make PCW History as BS:A and Tasselman walk away with Team Single’s dignity….probably not their titles… but at least their dignity!!
Once again, I thank Stu Rodgers and The Indy Corner for the chance to rant and get things off my chest and I thank each and every one of you for following the column and having a read. Follow me on Twitter @TheHarveyDale and you can find HOP:E on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/HouseOfPainEvolution where the match announcements for our return will begin happening very soon. Until next week…..