It is Friday evening, January 18th 2014. I am frantically driving through Leeds in an attempt to reach Intersport. I need to buy some Speedo swimming trunks before the store closes. Within the last half hour I have purchased some baby oil and a roll of black electrical tape. No, this is not the blog of some perverted madman (at least nothing I will admit to on here). No, this is professional wrestling. This is the return of JC Thunder!
Before we continue, I must stress all items are necessary for my return to wrestling. The swimming trunks are to go under my wrestling tights to avoid what I believe is called a VPL. The electrical tape goes round my wrists to protect them and makes me look more 'wrestlery'. The baby oil is to make me glisten under the lights. If you think this sounds a bit body obsessed, well it is a bit, but the look in wrestling is so important and I want to make sure I look the part for my return to the squared circle.
Since my last blog I have competed in not one, but two wrestling shows. The first was my match at Grapple in Leeds and the second was a booking for All Star all the way down in Leamington Spa.
I stand behind the curtain eagerly awaiting my return to the ring. My music (AC/DC, Thunderstruck) starts to play... ok I'm sure it's going to kick in any time now... ok it's still pretty quiet... damn it I knew this song was a bad choice... right I better go out anyway... 'Yaaaahh JC Thunder!' I shout, as I grimace up on the stage still secretly annoyed that my music is still quietly building up in the background. I shout some nonsense at the fans and throw a pose.
Yes, I am back in the ring and I am officially a pro wrestler again! However, the music clearly didn't work at all and a good entrance is everything. To resolve this I have engaged the services of professional musician and life long wrestling fan, my good friend Daniel Twohig. Please check out the link below and let me know what you think of the re-worked Thunderstruck.
Out comes Micky Mayakiss in his brightly coloured blue and pink attire that makes my black and orange number look quite conservative. He is nicer to the fans and after me being announced from London and him from Leeds the roles have certainly been set. The bell goes and it's time to wrestle.
The match started by us exchanging wristlocks, headlocks and body checks. I worked over Micky's leg for most of the bout, to try and neutralise his fearsome roundhouse kick. This ended up resulting in him limping around and me creating an opening for my finishing move - 'Thunder Crunch'. 1,2 and 3! Welcome back JC Thunder!
Overall the match was intense and hard hitting, but a few bits could have been smoother. There was one part at the beginning of the match that looked especially sloppy. Also, we went over time and had to cut the finish - an issue I will need to be more aware of. That said, given it was my first match back and Micky is still new to the game I am fairly pleased with what we did. Assuming he keeps up with it, I have no doubt that Micky will turn into a fine young wrestler. Good job kid! (I'm 30 and have a beard, so I assume I'm allowed to say stuff like that now.)
All Star is one of Europe's most respected and long established wrestling organisations. ITV stars such as Giant Haystacks and Kendo Nagasaki were all regularly seen under the All Star banner, along with plenty of WWE stars; William Regal, Wade Barrett, Sheamus and even current wrestling sensation Daniel Bryan have had their time honing their craft with the company. Now, it's my time to shine baby!
I enter the stage to a hot crowd that was easy to wind up as I waved around a red flag which had some sort of black skull and cross bones on it. My opponent entered and the crowd erupted as he slapped their hands and got them all fired up for some wrestling action. The bell rang and there I was, staring into the eyes of my old running buddy - the masked Mexican, El Ligero!
Ligero was on top form and the crowd was into the match. However, due to arriving at the venue late, I was feeling rushed and massively out of my comfort zone. As a result I was a bit lost and my offence looked weak in parts. I have spent the last two months really upping my intensity and I don't think I did myself justice at all here. That said, my crowd interaction was good and my movement was generally fluid and crisp. This is only my second match back and it is going to take time to get my in-ring confidence back up.
Let's get ready to rumble
To finish off the All Star show all the wrestlers participated in a rumble match, much like WWE's Royal Rumble. The match started off with me teaming with former nemesis and the man I beat for the IPW championship, Andy Boy Simmonz. We put our differences aside as we beat down on plucky good guy Joseph Conners. More wrestlers entered and soon the ring was full of lycra clad stars. I was eventually eliminated (again by that pesky little Mexican!) and as I threw a temper tantrum by the ring the crowd roared with glee at my disgruntlement.
One fan in particular was especially happy to see me go. I had been mouthing off to the said fan in my match earlier in the evening and now he was taking this opportunity to shout right back at me - it got quite heated, he stood up and was looking very much like he wanted to fight me. Hmmm, what the hell happens here if he starts throwing punches I wondered? On one hand, as a wrestler I don't want to be backing down from a fan, but on the other it probably isn't advisable to start beating up customers my first night on the job - a bad move in any profession! Luckily the referee was in between us and all that happened was we shouted for a bit and I soon went back to complaining about my loss and wondering where I'd put that flag of mine.
So, I am now officially a professional wrestler again, in so much as I occasionally get paid to wrestle! I am genuinely happy to see my last few months of hard work starting to pay off. However, in both matches I didn't feel entirely comfortable and hope that this is just down to what we call in the industry 'ring rust'.
All Star have asked me back. This Saturday I will be wrestling all the way down in Fareham, South Hampshire for them, where I will be looking to improve on the things I didn't feel went so well last time and continue doing the things that were good. They supply the majority of bookings in the UK and it would be great to get on board with them regularly. Also, I very much enjoyed the Grapple show I did and will be looking to make an impact again for their next show. Full report on both encounters next time!
Thanks for reading!
JC Thunder's Music