Picture Credit: (c) Brett Hadley
I’ve been toying with the idea of starting the old column back up for a while now and following a pretty good weekend, I felt now would be as good a time as any to sit and put a few thoughts down on paper. I’m sure no one ever reads my ramblings anyway, well unless it happens to be a facebook status, but at least when I’m old(er) and grey and looking back on where my life suddenly went wrong, I can read back through these columns and work it out!
So why now? What has given me the sudden urge to start putting my life down on paper again? As I’m sure most people know, a few months back, I started a project called ‘Wrestling With Depression’ (the facebook page can be found at HERE) after a few things in my personal life had piled up and almost managed to get the better of me. Depression is an illness, just like any other, but because it cannot be seen, there are a lot of people out there who believe that it doesn’t exist or that someone suffering from it is simply just ‘sad’ or ‘having a bad day.’ In my experience this is certainly not the case and I hope that once we have finished filming the project and can put it out there in the mainstream for people to see, that maybe it will help to show people that they shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for help or to admit that they need help. A few years ago, I lost a close friend to suicide, we had a drink together in the evening and everything had seemed fine, he left me at around 11pm and by the time 3am had rolled around the following morning he had taken his own life. He was just 21 years old.
Anyway, I hadn’t intended on this first effort to become morbid or go into massive detail about the Wrestling With Depression stuff, having spent around 10 hours on the road this weekend though, it has obviously given my mind plenty of time to wander and for the vast majority, it has wandered into a good place following a great weekend. Saturday saw me return to TNT Extreme Wrestling in Liverpool… now anyone who follows my ‘career’ or character will know that Over 18 shows suit me down to the ground, mainly because I am a mouthy prick at the best of times and this kind of setting and environment allows my mouth to run full steam ahead without getting myself into too much trouble and Saturday was nothing but a blast. I was lucky enough to be asked to join a group within TNT who are known as the ‘Manc Union’ (do you get it? Mancunion… because they are all ‘from Manchester’).. which consists of Bubblegum, Ashton Smith and Sam Bailey… so where do I fit in? Well… the dynamic works because obviously, ANYONE from outside Liverpool, MUST hate Liverpool by default eh? Well… let’s just say that the second my ‘cockney’ accent started spewing out over the mic, I had a room full of Liverpudlian natives baying for my blood! Now, I’m not calling scousers thick (well actually that’s not strictly true, as that was exactly what I did call them… amongst other things) but when you start your promo with the words.. “Now, I have always said that there is nothing like being in a room full of MENSA candidates… and believe me Liverpool, this is NOTHING like being in a room full of MENSA candidates” and not a single one of them cottons on to the fact that you may be slightly having a pop at their intelligence, you just can’t help but have to add the words… “You Thick Fucks”… Now, that may not be very nice… but my god did it get the job done… there was some poor fella in the front row almost spitting his teeth out trying to get his hands on the ‘mouthy cockney bastard’ who he thought, might have just insulted him and his 42 cousins that were surrounding him! (Obviously I jest, as anyone who knows the real me, knows full well that I value the fans at shows above all else becuase without you guys, nothing we do, nor the reactions we are able to get matters at all..but when I am in ‘character’ you can all go to hell haha!)
Having the opportunity to work alongside Ashton and Sam and then later in the evening with Bubblegum as he took on Rampage Brown, in what I can only describe as one of the best matches I have ever had the privellige to be a part of was absolutely great and if you couple that together with the fact that I was able to travel upto the show with Joseph Conners and Chris Flynn (who plays Blake for HOPE and other promotions) just topped off the day, 2 truly great people that made the whole day thoroughly enjoyable and I thank Jay Apter, the promoter of TNT and good old Ruffneck for having the faith in me to throw me in with such a talented group of people and know I can still get the job done with the manager gimmick, something that I don’t get to do as often as I would like to anymore, but unfortunately, Magic Mark misses me on commentary too much if I ever dare to leave him… he’s such a sweetheat!
Fast forward to Sunday (today as I write) and HOPE Wrestling I’ve been home for about 2 hours following a highly fun afternoon for my own promotion, as we debuted in a town that I spent 6 years living in back in the mid/late 2000’s, called Leighton Buzzard. Was it a big crowd? No. Was it a good crowd? Oh yes, massively… a crowd that were into the show from the very minute we set off, right through to the end. Now we have got some uber talented guys and girls coming through the ranks at HOPE and this was the perfect opportunity to give a few of them some match time. I’m not gonna sit and reel off a load of names because ultimately someone will be left out and get offended or feel that they haven’t done the job and that would be unfair. Every single person on todays show gave 100% and sent the crowd home happy and eager to know when we would be returning (which for anyone in the Leighton Buzzard area is April 10th but if you can’t wait until then… we are at The Jury’s Inn in Milton Keynes again on March 27th). All in all, it has been a great weekend (aside from the fact that the Tesco Express in Liverpool had no cans of Jack Daniels and Coke for the journey home so I ended up taking Gin & Tonic’s in the back of Chris’s car) and despite going through patches where I wonder why I ever became involved in this business in the first place, it’s weekends like this that remind me EXACTLY why I did!
So, onto another busy week as we launch the second HOPE Wrestling Academy this week, opening in Derby, we start on Tueday night with El Ligero taking tuesday classes and then no rest of the wicked as Paul Malen will be in charge of Wednesday and Sunday’s classes this week. If you have ever wanted to learn to wrestle, this is definitely the time to get signed up! Just have a look at our facebook page as you will see the great work already being done by the team down at our Milton Keynes Academy who just continue to go from strength to strength… I promise to write another column next week so if anyone has any suggestions of what to put in, please hit me up on my facebook (Harvey Dale) or my Twitter (@TheHarveyDale) and I will be happy to listen to what any of the three of you who will read this, have to say!