The Twisted Times IV- Uprising Thoughts
Posted on – Tuesday 4th November 2003 By Dean Ayass
Disclaimer: Please remember the following column represents the thoughts and opinions of Dean Ayass and is in no way endorsed by the Frontier Wrestling Alliance (FWA)
Well, Uprising’s over and done with for another year. Watching the preview video, which really got all of us hyped up for the show, I could see how far the FWA’s progressed again in the space of 12 months. While last year’s Uprising was an exciting new venture for everyone, and the first ever show of this magnitude, one year on, the York Hall had become a little more familiar to us. From what I saw of the show, I’d like to think everyone left feeling happy and entertained. I’ve read some people’s opinions that it was good but not brilliant, but I think that demonstrates the high standards that we’ve set in the recent past. Uprising this year was better for me than 2002, when I was feeling very sorry for myself, suffering from flu. This year, I was full of beans, encouraged by the fact that, the day before, I’d just had some very good results from my latest blood test, which I’ve had to have done quarterly since I was diagnosed with diabetes. Ever since I mentioned that I was diabetic in my first column, I’ve been amazed by the number of people who have spoken to me at shows or emailed me to say that they are too or have a family member who is, and have wished me well. I’ve been truly touched. Thank you.
The bomb scare that we endured before the show began did knock a few of us out of our stride for a while. I must admit that it shook me up a bit – I had visions of my family in the Middle East getting the news that someone in the supposedly peaceful UK had been blown up while all of them in the troublesome Middle East were still knocking about. Add to that the fact that an old schoolfriend of mine was killed in the Bali bombing last year and, well, it all made me panic a little. And run straight into the ladies’ dressing room to make sure my better half was escorted away safely. Suffice to say, I had to apologise to one of the FWA femmes later on for forgetting to knock and bursting in while she was still in her underwear……..and no, it wasn’t “Mrs Lambert” either.
Our match went very well, I thought. We were all very happy with it. I said to everyone before we went out, that we’d built this one up perfectly for six months and this was the grand finale of it all. I’ve said before that I think that the Duke of Danger character is one of the best in the UK, if not anywhere, with far more depth than any similar character I can think of (*cough* William Regal *cough* Sebastian P. Sterling *cough*). Burchill’s table bump was very impressive and shocked the crowd into thinking that the invincible Burchill may not be that invincible after all. The drama continued and a well-paced match, which ran exactly to time, I was told by a relieved Alex afterwards, seemed to be well received by the 1000+ packed into the York Hall. I ended up on the receiving end of a slap across the face from Buttercup. For some stupid reason, I instinctively put my hand up to block her slapping me (it’s how Jane gets me to do the washing up, you see) and I could hear groans from the gold ringsiders as I felt pretty stupid myself. So I challenged her to do it again, which she did, only this time, she accidentally caught me right on the ear. If you’ve ever been hit on the ear, you’ll know that even a slight impact can knock your balance out, as this is where your body’s equilibrium is. Anyway, my hearing wasn’t right until a week later. It felt like I had two seashells strapped to my ears, all tinny and echoey. It’s amazing really, a slap from a 5 ft tall, petite woman does more damage to me than a chairshot from a near 7 ft tall raging German! Such is life.
I also noticed more people in the crowd were joining in with the Twisted Genius standard disclaimer at Uprising too, which is always a good thing. For those of you still trying to remember the words, it goes like this:
“You are entering this ring at your own risk. Mr Burchill and Mr Ayass accept no responsibility for any broken bones”.
Practice it every day before bedtimen and we’ll all be in tune by the next show. I believe that Rusty Music will be releasing “Sing-a-Long-a-Genius” in the New Year, with “Dean’s Dream Theme” on the B-side.
I only managed to get to the briefest portion of Fan Slam, when I ferried Homicide from the York Hall to the comedy club and then wandered along Bethnal Green Road via McDonald’s, which I finally found on my third trip to Bethnal Green: I have the sense of direction of a blindfolded sloth, you see. However, in that time, I managed to do some mighty fine blagging and came away with a video, a DVD, a copy of Shootfabe and a copy of the awesome Shiny Pants, which I thought was almost as funny as that time when Anthea Turner got her head set alight on live TV when I was a kid (i.e. very funny indeed). I too pity the fool who doesn’t read Shiny Pants, but sadly I will not be investing in a pair of shiny pants to wear on a future show. It was also good to see my old friend Barry launching Shooting Star Videos too, here’s hoping that it’s a success. I’ve known Barry for a fair few years now, and I doubt that anyone will be having the kind of problems they’ve had with other traders (naming no names!) with him. It’s really good to see him back in the FWA fold now that he’s been released from prison. (Note: Barry wasn’t really in prison. It’s just a joke. He was really in a secure unit for the criminally insane, but escaped, and has stolen The Great Antonio’s identity now that he’s died). Walking back to the venue, I also spotted that some Doug Williams fans must have been showing their support, as several red Anarchy signs could be spotted, spraypainted on various walls around Bethnal Green. Scott Parker returned from his honeymoon, looking nowhere near as tanned as someone who had spent 2 weeks in the Seychelles should do, sporting a grotesquely loud yellow shirt that I half found disgusting and half admired, as I too have a penchant for Norman Cookesque loud shirts.
Homicide was a really cool guy actually, I’d never seen him before, but I got on really well with him. He also got me in the habit of describing him as a “stiff motherf*cker”. So there. Mikey Whipwreck’s unannounced appearance just goes to show that the internet audience doesn’t know everything after all! Everyone was expecting Balls Mahoney to turn up, to the point that there were chants of “Balls” before Mikey was introduced (although part of this might be attributed to Steve Lynskey and I – we popped out to get some food before the show and as we were walking back, past the fans who were waiting outside for doors to open, we started quietly humming “Big Balls” by AC/DC as a wind-up). I’ve said before that Paul Travell is the craziest SOB in this country. He’s not one of these backyard style guys who can’t do anything else, the guy can wrestle, and wrestle well, but for whatever reason he’s decided to go down the path he’s currently walking down, and seems to genuinely enjoy it. I’ve known Paul for a long time, ever since he started up with Hammerlock in the mid 1990’s, and I consider him to be a good friend, but lately, each and every time he’s out there, he worries me to death. Also, Alex’s turn was the best executed I’ve seen in this country in recent times. Looking at the faces of some of the ringsiders, they looked genuinely shocked by what they were witnessing.
Uprising also marked the first time I’d ever seen CM Punk and Colt Cabana. I’m afraid that I’ve been so busy recently that I have tapes that have been sitting on a shelf for six months or more without being watched. I absolutely loved their match. They were full of enthusiasm and their match had great elements of comedy in it, as well as good actual wrestling moves. In a way, they reminded me of the comedy guys of the old British wrestling TV days, guys like Catweazle and Beautiful Bobby Barnes, guys who could entertain with great comedy spots, but at the same time, always reminded you in the same match that they were wrestlers first and foremost, and comedians second. I wasn’t at all surprised to hear a chant of “Please come back!” afterwards. And as for that Pepsi Plunge finisher – OUCH! A load of us watching on the monitor backstage were simultaneously blown away by the move, and glad that we weren’t on the receiving end of it. Cabana was great fun to be around as well, a really cool guy.
It was also great to see the man, the myth, the legend that is Wonderful Willie, Bill Apter, back over to our shores for this one, complete with his Office Wrestling title belt which he proudly defends across the globe. You always know that it’s a real, proper big show when Bill comes over. I was really surprised that he remembered both my name and Jane’s without any prompting, I mean the last time we saw him was when we spent a day with him in London after Vendetta 2002 in Telford, and that was nearly 18 months ago. When you think of the number of people that Bill must meet day in, day out, I was really surprised when he bounded over to me, said “Hey Dean, how are you?” and gave me a big hug. I do hope that he did his Dusty Rhodes impression at Fan Slam. Bill’s such a nice guy, and I hope he doesn’t leave it another 18 months before he’s back over here again. Steve Ganfield of Total Wrestling was also there with him, and I had a good chat with him too. Again, a nice guy.
Uprising was a long day, and part of a long weekend for me. I was sitting an exam on the Monday afterwards for my day job, for my Financial Planning Certificate. If I pass, then I suppose that this will make me the Bradshaw of the FWA.
I was very sad to hear the news that Stu Hart had passed away at the age of 88. Stu Hart was one of this industry’s true lasting legends, and his legacy will live on through guys like Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and even new generation rising stars like TJ Wilson and Teddy Hart. We dealt briefly with the Hart family when I was in Hammerlock in 1996, when we brought Jim Neidhart over for a brief tour, and the Harts came across to us as genuinely pleasant and caring people, especially Helen. While it is sad to hear that Stu has passed away, 88 is a good age, particularly in wrestling where in the same week we saw another person die in their mid-40’s, and at least he is now reunited with Helen. I will never forget that scene from Wrestling With Shadows where old man Stu is stretching some kid who can’t be older than 19 on the floor until he screams out in pain. Rest in peace, Stu.
Well at least David Blaine’s ridiculous, self-serving publicity stunt has finally limped to an end. I must admit that I did go to see him a few weeks ago, when I was in London anyway (I was dragged along, kicking and screaming I tell you, to the National Weddings Show at Earl’s Court) and well, it was the strangest tourist attraction I’ve ever seen. I think it was so painfully obviously a fraud, just like his other work. Firstly, in my opinion, there’s no way on this planet that a man who had legitimately gone without food for 44 days would be able to walk out of there on his own, cut a dewy-eyed promo, strip off his shirt without shivering on a cold autumnal night and calmly stand on some scales to be weighed. Furthermore, as we were watching him being checked on by ‘paramedics’, Jane, who works by day for the NHS remember (no, she’s not a nurse, you perverts), mentioned how she thought that the paramedics appeared to be doing some of the most basic things completely wrong, so in other words, they were likely to have just been actors. My guess would be that he had more than just water in those pipes, and had food (maybe the powdered food that astronauts survive on in space) packed inside his opaque mattress to snaffle under his duvet. While sitting in a box for 44 days is some kind of a feat, if you gave me £5 million to do it, wrapped up in a deal to publish a book afterwards, I’d quite happily do it too. When thousands upon thousands of people are starving in the world, for David Blaine to do this for his own wealth and publicity rather than for charity speaks volumes about the man. Not to mention how police resources would have been drained guarding him for a month and a half.
You may think it strange that I should criticise him, after all, magic and illusions and wrestling have a fair bit in common in many ways. But at least we’re now open about the fact that what we do is mostly designed specifically for people’s entertainment. Blaine tries to convince the public that he’s for real, which is why the Guinness Book of Records won’t touch him with a bargepole. His “standing in a block of ice” stunt, again physically impossible, was rejected by them as it was revealed later that every time dry ice was pumped into the block to keep it cold, Blaine would allegedly slide down a trap door to be replaced by a double wearing an equally large amount of clothing. This rota between three of them supposedly continued for the duration of the stunt. Below the ice block apparently housed a basement with a TV, bed, fridge etc, so Blaine could watch “himself” on the TV!
Oh yeah, and for anyone who cares, I thought that Princess Diana was bumped off suspiciously on September 1st 1997, so all these allegations are nothing new to me. I remember phoning up my mum as soon as I heard the news, and we both said straight away that something dodgy was going on. It was all just too convenient. There’s no way the Royal Family would allow the mother of the future King to be married to a Muslim unfortunately. Still, if I had my way, I’d follow the Russians’ example and get shot of them all. Put it live on Pay-Per-View and at least we can get some value out of the obscene amounts of money we all chuck at the Royal Family through our taxes.
And finally, thanks to Jon Glastonbury for answering my Smarties query. I asked why there is a letter of the alphabet printed on the underside of the cap. The sadly boring answer is that the apparent aim of it all is to collect all letters in all colours, i.e. buy more Smarties. And yes, there are some truly scary websites out there, where people have made up charts listing what letters they have in what colours and offering swaps. Think Panini Football ’86 stickers for mentalists and you’re halfway there. And speaking of football, the mighty Tractor rides high once more. Joe Royle is Manager of the Month and we’re up in the play-off zone already, way above Delia’s yellow pretenders, Norwich. Keep those emails coming.
I’ve just seen that Lock Up Your Sons show on backyarding on Channel 4 – I’ll have PLENTY to say on that in my next column!
Till next time,