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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Wrestling rookies put on great show

IN April last year I was visited in the Evening Mail Ulverston office by a young couple who told me about a wrestling show they were to put on at the Coronation Hall.

David Pickthall
David Pickthall

When I saw their posters for the event, my initial reaction was one of: “We’ve seen it all before – travelling American wrestling shows with rip-offs of famous characters such as the Undertaker and the Legion of Doom”.

The first show was broadly along those lines, with the line-up including some journeymen grapplers, a former WWE performer and a star from the TV show Gladiators.

But as the couple began to explain their future plans in more detail, I realised that Ryan Parkinson and Libby Carter had a lot more up their sleeves. As they outlined their vision to open a wrestling academy in Ulverston, I questioned the logic.

Were there enough interested people in the surrounding area to sustain it?

Would people take it seriously?

And why, of all places, Ulverston?

Almost a year later, the wrestling school and its crop of promising, young local wrestlers has more than justified the vision behind the academy.

G Ring Promotions, to give it its full name, have taken a batch of, mainly rookie, wrestlers and, inside a year, moulded them into more-than-competent in-ring performers.

Having learnt the ropes of the industry – some of them from scratch – they have put on several shows in their Red Rose Club base.

Keen to see how it would develop, I’ve followed the organisation’s progress and, from the very first show, the level of athleticism and the high-risk action on show took me by surprise.

The shows have grown in quality and regularly filled the Victoria Road venue with fans of varying ages.

Not only do they possess the physical attributes, they are also bringing a growing sense of showmanship for which American wrestling is famous.

Last Friday, the crowd inside the Red Rose Club looked on in amazement as local competitors Nightmare and One Man Army battled it out in a “falls count anywhere” match.

Items such as a ladder, chairs and a kendo stick all featured in a hardcore encounter which demonstrated the speed of progress the wrestlers have made inside a year.

At the Evening Mail, we have followed with interest the burgeoning wrestling career of our multi-media expert James Hemsworth, who started at the academy late last year.

Playing his alter-ego Jimmy Hate, James is embracing his new role as manager of the psychotic grappler Filius Diablo.

G Ring Promotions have shown how much can be achieved in less than a year and deserves great credit. Their next event, Betrayal, takes place on April 13.

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