FEATURE: Get Into…Wrestling | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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In our latest Get Into… feature, we take a look at the world of professional wrestling. Botchamania is a video series that has exploded and is viewed by wrestling fans all over the world, so who better than its founder Maffew to guide us through the world of the squared circle. Over to you Maffew…

I’m Maffew, a self-employed video editor/social media person who watches a lot of wrestling. Not ‘too much wrestling’ that’s impossible. I am known for the video series Botchamania, taking clips of the worst of wrestling mistakes and goofs, mixing them with video game music and Simpsons references and somehow getting acclaim. That’s how the world works in 2017 I guess.

Wrestling is a lot like jazz, you can’t explain to someone why it’s special; you can only show them and they’ll either get it or they won’t. It’s a manly broth of sport, visual spectacle, soap opera, comedy, pantomime and violence.

I don’t have favourite moments or the other moments get jealous. But recently being in the crowd when Will Ospreay finally pinned Jimmy Havoc in Progress Wrestling after over a year of feuding was memorable. Some people who had been following the feud from the very beginning were driven to tears. More recently, being in the crowd for WWE Wrestlemania 33 and The Hardy Boyz return to WWE and being part of 70,000+ people all chanting ”Delete, Delete” was special. Seeing a mediocre wrestling show live is a thousand times more fun than a good one on TV.

The easiest way to see if you like wrestling is watch a WWE PPV via the Network. They’re the biggest game in town and if you have a small idea about wrestling, it’ll be their style you’ll have heard of. The weekly TV shows are designed to hype up the supershows but with the fancy hype videos they produce you can always watch the PPVs and blag it. If you like WWE and their blend of big budget shows then fine, but if you decide what you like about the show most is the athleticism and not the sometimes over-scripted promos then the world of indie wrestling has never been more accessible. Like hard-hitting action? Get Progress On Demand. Like even harder-hitting action? Get NJPW World? Want Scots beating each other up? Get ICW On Demand. Wrestling fans never go hungry, there’s always something to eat.

Wait, you want to try learning to wrestle? You’re a bit of a mad ‘un. The most reputable around here would be New Generation Wrestling’s weekly sessions in Chester-le-Street. They’re run by a man called Rampage Brown, which sums it up nicely.

Currently in the Tyneside area alone there’s What Culture Pro Wrestling (major YouTube-based company that has the wallet-size to bring in some of the most well-known non-WWE wrestlers in the world), Main Event Wrestling (Tyneside-focused company that’s been running Working Men’s Clubs for over a decade), Absolute Wrestling (North Shields-focused company that also brings in the best North-West and Scottish talent) and North Wrestling (newcomer that emphasises the visuals, fun times and bar location for fun booze-filled times) to name but a few.

If I was picking just one place to start, I’d go with the obvious again and answer WWE Wrestlemania 33. WWE run a lot of big shows but their big-biggest is Wrestlemania which has become the event even non-fans watch once a year. Some storylines are blown off, others are continued, the part-time legends show up and it’s about seven hours long so it’s at least value for money.

Most fun examples of wrestling in other media would be the BAFTA winning film The Wrestler (maybe not ”fun” in the classic sense but it’s the best thing Mickey Rourke’s been in since Double Team), most of the licensed video games can be enjoyed without being a fan of the product (despite the series dip in quality since 2K14, the 2K Sports WWE games are still a blast with mates. If you’re a retro fan then you probably already know about the greatness of WWF No Mercy N64 or Def Jam Vendetta) and you can’t turn the TV on without seeing one of them in something watchable (Batista in Guardians of The Galaxy, John Cena in Trainwreck, Roddy Piper in They Live etc).

In short, wrestling is like pizza. Even when it’s bad, it’s still good.

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