ICYMI: Number 3

When Andrew arrives at the pearly gates and they evaluate what he did with his life, watching wrestling matches will rack up more hours than any other single task. The guy’s done a lot of DVD miles. Every week he picks one of his favourite matches to share with you. Here’s number three…

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I’m lucky enough to have a local promotion* that has allowed me to see the likes of Kevin Steen, Akira Tozawa, Colt Cabana, The Young Bucks, Paul London, Brian Kendrick, Super Crazy, Davey Richards, Michael Elgin, Johnny Gargano, Lita, John Morrison and Chris Masters over the last two years. I’ve been even more lucky to find myself being introduced to a group of young British wrestlers who are standing toe-to-toe with these imports, and not looking out of place in the slightest.

I’ll be showing some PCW footage in future editions of ICYMI, but for now I want to mention their second ever show; a tournament to crown their first ever champion back in September 2011. I came out of this show singing the praises of two young wrestlers. One, Noam Dar, has gone on to wrestle some of the biggest import names to have come over to the UK of late, as well as wrestling on the Dragon Gate UK tour back in February.

The other person was a wrestler called Jack Gallagher. Billed from the Snake Pit gym in Wigan (home of the Catch as Catch Can style often alluded to by Jim Ross) he only wrestled one match that night, being beaten in the first round by his Scottish opponent Lionheart. Despite being described by Lionheart as “Sheamus with AIDS” I was left amazed at the skill that Jack brought to the ring. I’m a big fan of that, admittedly quite old fashioned, World of Sport-style and seeing someone young do that was a highlight.

Jack is currently wrestling over in Japan for the Zero One promotion as Jack Anthony, and although a lot of our American readers will undoubtedly be unfamiliar with him I urge you to give this a look. Click here if the video doesn’t load on your mobile device.

*Disclaimer : I am slightly involved behind the scenes at Preston City Wrestling but any comments I make are strictly as a fan.

(Rae’s Edit: Jack has proven himself to be a very insightful writer, formerly here and now here. I’m also rather fond of his Twitter bio.)

andrew

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ICYMI: Number 2

When Andrew arrives at the pearly gates and they evaluate what he did with his life, watching wrestling matches will rack up more hours than any other single task. The guy’s done a lot of DVD miles. Every week he picks one of his favourite matches to share with you. Here’s number two…

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There’s been a lot written about Mick McManus following his death earlier this week, but it seemed only right that I should pay my respects in this week’s ICYMI.

McManus was one of, if not the, preeminent villains (not heels, villains) during the World of Sport era. As a child I found Kendo Nagasaki sinister, Giant Haystacks imposing and Catweazle creepy as hell. But McManus scared me. He was, despite his 5’6″ stature, someone who looked like he would genuinely hurt you if he felt it was necessary. Yet despite this he was, by every account, a true gentleman; in fact after retiring from the ring he became a noted expert in the field of porcelain. Not something you might expect from the likes of Randy Orton perhaps.

For younger (and overseas) readers it might be hard to grasp just how big a deal wrestling was in the UK once upon a time. Televised twice weekly and drawing larger audiences than the FA Cup final it often preceded, British wrestling was immense. The National Union of Shopkeepers unsuccessfully lobbied the TV channel to ask them to move the broadcast slot from Saturday afternoon as housewives weren’t leaving the house to buy groceries. The Royal Family were known to be fans, and McManus was photographed with the likes of Prince Philip and then Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

McManus died at the age of 93 after refusing to eat following the death of his wife in January. Despite pleas and visits from friends including Sir Richard Attenborough, he slipped into a coma and passed away.

andrew

ICYMI: Number 1

When Andrew arrives at the pearly gates and they evaluate what he did with his life, watching wrestling matches will rack up more hours than any other single task. The guy’s done a lot of DVD miles. Every week he’ll pick one of his favourite matches to share with you. Here’s his first…

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Before the yeses and the nos and the hugs… before the Sierras and the Hotels and the Indias, the Echoes and the Limas and the Deltas… there was, well, there was loads actually.

Between them Bryan Danielson and Tyler Black amassed 15 years worth of matches before signing with the WWE and becoming Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins respectively. Working for US indie promotions such as IWA: Mid South, PWG and Ring of Honor the two met on a number of occasions; both as opponents and, as is the case here, as team mates.

This week’s match is for the Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championship and features the team of Danielson and Black taking on The American Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie “not the Olympic ski jumper” Edwards) with Wrestlegasm favourite (and now WWE trainer) Sara Del Rey at ringside.   If you’ve not seen much of Rollins/Black before his SHIELD tenure you should be in for a pleasant surprise, especially when he pulls out the Phoenix Splash and God’s Last Gift.

Hope you enjoy and I’ll be back next week with another match you might not have seen before.

andrew