Kamikaze Pro: Bank On It 2

Kamikaze Pro
Bank On It 2
Meadway Sports & Social, Birmingham

kami2I’m dusting off my fingertips to unleash hell on WordPress again, at least on a one-off basis. The latest instalment from the wonderful Kamikaze Pro promotion from Birmingham was just too good to simply watch – I had to have my say. Just looking at the card going in I knew this wasn’t going to leave me short for words and I wasn’t one bit disappointed. I came for the legendary Hardcore Holly but came away with that and so much more. I don’t like to overegg the pudding and so will try to keep it short and swift, as all good blogging should be. That being said, the sheer carnage of this event would be difficult for anyone to sum up in few words.

T-Bone v Eddie Dennis

The opening contest saw two of the country’s top heels going face-to-face. Something had to give. I’m a huge mark for “The Pride of Wales” and so knew that I would be rooting for the latter. As it turned out, the majority of the crowd felt the same way. Maybe it was out of respect for his work, or perhaps those people just hated the Welshman a bit less than they did T-Bone. Nonetheless, they were firmly behind Dennis. We were all left happy and content when Eddie got the win after a predictably physical and intense contest. These two never pull any punches and this encounter was no different. This was a great way to kick off the show. As Eddie Dennis stood tall and received a very generous applause from the crowd, I had a feeling this would be a strong show.

The Hunter Brothers v Miracle Violence Connection(c)
for the Kamikaze Pro Tag Team Championships

The stalwarts versus the up-and-comers. What a contest this was set to be! The crowd were heavily into this, throwing out the usual “Tipton!” and “Tash!” chants at their respective heroes. The in-ring work itself certainly didn’t disappoint. The opening stages consisted of a lot of great chain work. Tyler Bate has to be the best prospect in the region. For me, he barely has an equal. Great look, excellent work, top kami1guy. He showed off all of those qualities but was eventually cut short by some well executed logical tag team work from The Hunters.

As things looked to be going against his team, Dan Moloney encouraged Tyler to use the title belt to get a cheap win. The man with the moustache was having none of it and so Dan took matters into his own hands. Behind the referees back, he used the belt to knock down his opponent and pick up the pinfall victory. The discension between MVC continued after the bell. Moloney looked very pleased with himself as he held both the titles up in the air as his own. As excited as I am by them as a tag team, I’m looking forward to seeing how this rift develops.

Leah Von Dutch v Nixon Newell

Crowd favourite Nixon Newell put up a great fight against her international counterpart LVD, who was trained by WWE Hall of Famer “Edge”. She was on top for most of the match, but in the end she fell victim to a devastating spear – just one of the tricks the Canadian picked up from her legendary trainer. The two shared a classy embrace after the bell and should be proud of putting on a great match and continuing to both further legitimise womens wrestling.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
“Dynamite” Pete Dunne v “Number One” Damien Dunne v Chris Brookes v Robbie X v “Flash” Morgan Webster v Ethan Silver

This match was just ridiculous… ridiculously good. You just have to see it (search Kamikaze Pro online and get the DVD) If you haven’t seen the match, there is nothing I can really say to efficiently describe it to you, but I will do my best. There were so many epic dives, the best of which was probably when Nixon Newell returned to the ring to dive off a ladder to the outside on to all six men. That was just one of many highlights. The strikes were brutal, the use of the ladder was both innovative and shocking. Rarely have I seen a match which was more deserving of the “Holy shit” chant.

After an unbelievable performance from everyone in the match, and even those who weren’t in the match, it ended rather controversially. After a herculean effort, my trainer and personal favourite Pete Dunne looked set to capture the briefcase, only to be low blowed kami3and screwed by Robbie X. The latest member of the Church of Ryan Smile (that’s not a real faction name, but maybe it should be) grabbed the case from the top of the ladder and was declared the winner.

The blow was softened somewhat when the suit came to the ring and informed us that Pete Dunne will get a one-on-one match with Robbie at the next show, with the briefcase on the line. The whole crowd knew that Pete deserved the win and were very happy to receive such good news.

The World’s First Ever “Scat Monkey on a Pole Match”
Marshall X v Sebastian Radclaw

This match lived up to it’s title. It was unique, insane and quite unlike anything I’ve seen before. Whenever Radclaw is involved you know you’re going kami4to be entertained and Marshall X is one of the best talkers on the independent scene without a doubt. The two of them made us all laugh in the early going but that quickly transcended into brutal chaos. As they brawled around the venue, a precarious tension filled the air. Marshall threw his opponent into a wall, and almost straight through it, leaving a visible dent. He then tried to perform a vertical suplex on the whimsical Radclaw on the floor next to the bar, but unfortunately suffered that fate himself.

A battle which involved both a ladder and a pole (both of which looked unstable) was topped off when Chris Brookes ran in to cost the “Black Messiah” the match. His interruption allowed Radclaw to climb up and retrieve his beloved monkey from the top of the pole and any fear that one of these guys may end up getting seriously hurt in a bid to entertain us thankfully evaporated. A celebratory gremlin dance in the ring from Radclaw, Scat Monkey and a horde of delighted little ones followed.kami5

I was both surprised and impressed with the level of quality in this match. I expected it to be funny, but I didn’t expect it to be as athletic, brutal and downright scary at times. This was just another example of this show outdoing its own billing.

Hardcore Holly v Ryan Smile(c)
For the Kamikaze Pro Championship

The main event was as solid and stiff as I expected. Everybody in wrestling knows that Bob Holly doesn’t pull any punches and he doesn’t hold back. The man who won several Championships in WWE is now in his 50s but that didn’t show. He looked the part and he produced the goods. The All Day Star more than held his own though. By all accounts, he completely endeared himself to the legend with his effort and I’m not surprised.

These two went back-and-forth for some time and produced a main event worthy of such kami6an entertaining and chaotic show. To my absolute shock, Holly caught Smile in a spinning Alabama Slam and captured the Kamikaze Pro title, ending the now epic reign of everybody’s favourite bad guy. The drama didn’t stop there. Robbie X – famous for stealing Money in the Bank from Birmingham hero Pete Dunne earlier in the night – surged to the ring and demanded they cash in his opportunity. He was quick to take advantage of an exhausted and beleaguered Hardcore Holly and become Kamikaze Pro Champion himself for the first time.kami7

This was a show you really shouldn’t have missed. Pretty much everything important that could have happened did. All the guys and gals had top matches. The big title changed hands twice. It was just immense! Hardcore Holly topped off the show by giving an emotional speech to a sold out crowd who were clearly in love with the man.

To take things to a new echelon of greatness, I even got to meet the man himself and express my love for his book (previously kami8reviewed on this site). He was a top performer and a top pro but by no means the only shining light from this show – one of the best independent wrestling shows I’ve ever had the joy to watch.

Onwards and upwards for Kamikaze Pro!

Craig [Editor]

Kamikaze Pro: Dojo Blog #14

kpro7Hello to the select number of people who find these tales of wrestling training remotely interesting. Thanks for checking out the fourteenth installment of the Dojo Blog. I believe the school has been in operation for around 18 or 19 weeks now but I have unfortunately had to miss a few sessions over recent months. Finding a job can be a bittersweet achievement. However, my most recent absence had nothing to do with work. I had to miss practice two weeks ago because I was on set shooting a sitcom pilot. That project is around a year old, and I’m sure I’ll be posting a lot of stuff on here about it once it comes to fruition towards the end of the year. With that and work I’ve only made it to 3 of the past 6 times which is disappointing, but when I have managed to attend, it’s been brilliant. The sessions seem to get more challenging and more rewarding each time. So lets get down to business.

I’m writing this almost exactly a week ago to the hour since my last training session at the Kamikaze Pro Dojo. It was a very worthwhile evening. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the will to go after working all day and being up since seven but I never regret it. We started off in the smaller room stretching, doing some cardio and then trying out some rolls. We were even challenged to try a handstand – a challenge that I miserably failed.

Once the big room had become available, we moved over and split up into two groups. I’ve become a regular in the advanced group, and I’m relishing the stuff we get to do now. It’s extremely difficult and I feel out of my depth a lot of the time, but you have to learn sometime. When things start heating up, it forces you to go with it and try your absolute best. We worked on another little chain which focused on posting. It involved a vertical suplex, head scissors and some crazy spider grab thing I don’t even know how to describe. The point is it was all pretty difficult and stuff that I didn’t really have a handle on. It took me the whole duration of the class to pull off the head scissors to an almost respectable standard, but I stuck with it and kept trying.

It’s been a bit of a massive step up over the last few sessions to be honest. I wasn’t quite sure I was ready for some of these moves but it’s just so fun! Even if you have to mess up thirty times to get something decent, the trying itself is entertaining. I know I’m still a long, long way off becoming a real wrestler, but I actually feel like I’m on that course now. If I show up as often as I possibly can, listen to my trainers and give everything, I might one day be able to have a match.

We are starting to learn more about psychology and how you go about putting matches together, so that’s a good sign. The more of that information I can get the better. After a very fun but energy sapping hour and a half, we all paired off and worked on our promos as usual. When it came time to shine I think me and the big man did alright. He has it down a lot more than me but my confidence is still improving and that’s a good thing. The trainers didn’t have too much of a problem with it so maybe we are doing okay. I think we need to try to add some more depth and freshen up our tag team a little bit but I can’t say I’m over-flowing with ideas.

As for the rest of the gang, some of the promos were downright awesome. There was a few new guys again and one of them cut this hilarious promo about being the teacher and taking his opponent to school. It was reminiscent of the incredible Matt Striker from a few years ago and had everyone in stitches. Some people just have natural confidence I guess, even on a very first day. He actually teaches in real life I think so I’m sure he is used to nerve-racking and uncomfortable situations. He knocked it out of the park anyway, as did a few other people. I’m still pretty bland with mine but it’s not really my strength.

On the whole, it was another great class. We had Kamikaze Pro star Chris Brookes there also lending a hand with the training side of things. I thought I had almost hurt him a couple of times by botching so bad when he tried to show me moves, but I guess he is all good. Pete and Ryan were great as always. James was always giving tips and trying to help us get to where we need to be. All of the boys worked hard and seemed to have a good time. Hopefully the new guys will come back as the group continues to grow in size. I’m still learning and probably will be for a very long time, but I can’t think of a better place to do so.

Unfortunately the Budokan Martial Arts Centre is closed this week so we won’t be training tonight. Oh well, at least I got to go gym two days in a row because of some rare time off work. Bring on the wrestling next week!

Thanks for reading,


Kamikaze Pro: Dojo Blog #13

kpro7So after missing two weeks of training, I was finally able to rejoin the guys and girl at the Kamikaze Pro Dojo this past Wednesday. It was my first time at the new venue, Budokan Martial Arts Centre. I was unable to make the first two sessions after the day and venue change because my change of availability at work takes some time to come into effect. I was very happy to be back on the horse again.

I was impressed with the new space. It doesn’t have a running track outside which is a downer, but the improvements in other areas make it worthwhile. In the big room where we spent the majority of our time, the entire room is padded. That made it easy for all of us to work on various techniques without having to worry about needing a mat at hand. We still had a crash mat to work on some bumps, but we didn’t depend on it.

We started out in the smaller room next door waiting for a karate class to finish. In there we went through various rolling sequences, which proved a good opportunity for me to shake off some cobwebs and get back into the swing of things. There were a few new people, which is always cool to see. They seemed to really enjoy themselves too so I’m expecting to see them again next time. Considering the change of location, the numbers were high. I don’t think I’ve seen so many people at training before. Since my time away, a couple of the younger lads have really come on leaps and bounds. It’s crazy what a difference two days can make.

After going through the rolls, we moved into the big room and ran through some bumps on the crash mat (flip bumps and running sentons) before breaking off into two groups. This was another big step up for me. Myself and a couple of other inexperienced guys were put together with four of the best in the school to work on some amazing moves. We put together a chain (similarly to how we did with Pete at my last training session two weeks before) and learned some adventurous stuff. I know for those guys this was probably child’s play but for me it was a big challenge.

I stuttered several times while trying to run through the chain wrestling but got more into it when we moved onto the really fun stuff. We all got to practice a crucifix pin and a code red, which was amazingly fun. I am so glad to be doing this kind of stuff. It was probably the best time I’d had in weeks. That may sound sad, but doing a code red makes you feel like a legend, even if the other guy is doing practically all of the work.

It was good to see Ryan and James again, good to see all the other old faces and a few new ones. I think my progress is coming along steadily, and the sessions seem to be getting more fun and productive as the weeks go on. Unfortunately I won’t be there this coming Wednesday as I have a film project I need to attend to but I will be looking forward to getting straight back down to business the week after.

You know the drill. If you want to do some pro wrestling training and you live in or around Birmingham, you really have no excuse not to search Kamikaze Pro on Facebook. The new location is extremely central now and the trainers are top notch. Be sure to check back in two weeks for another update on my journey from mark to money.

Thanks for reading,

Craig [Editor]

Kamikaze Pro: Dojo Blog #12

kpro7The training sessions just keep getting better at the Kamikaze Pro Dojo. This week was immense. It was probably the most fun and productive time I’ve had since joining the school. Here’s why.

Things are really starting to fit into place and the momentum is picking up. We kicked off with some cardio outside on the track again, which was such a blessing because it’s been ridiculously humid this past couple of weeks. After three laps and two sets of running the steps, we were all sufficiently warmed up. My recovery time is getting shorter and shorter, which I’m pleased about. I’m controlling my breathing well. Practice makes perfect and I’m really happy with the improvements I’ve made to my endurance over the past three months.

Once that was done, we went back inside and were split into the usual beginner and experienced groups – only this time with an awesome twist. Myself, Johnny and Karl were put in with the advanced guys this week. It was a step up in terms of what we were doing and felt pretty daunting at first, but it was so worth it. First we went over another grueling drill – side stepping around the mat, high knees and forward rolls into flip bumps.

Then we went over the running powerslam and northern lights suplex again. I managed to successfully execute both once or twice, after failing a fair few times. I seem to be better at the getting picked up part. I will need to build more upper body strength in order to change that. I’m working on it but things have been really hectic since I got this new job two weeks ago – I’ve barely seen the weight room.

The best part of the whole day was the chain wrestling we worked on next. This is exactly the kind of thing I want to learn. We worked on a lock up, waistlock takedown, escape, headlock, a few reversals, and a half nelson pin. When we put it all together it was such a fun chain to do. It took me a while to get each thing down but I think by the end of the class I wasn’t doing too badly for a beginner. I’m really looking forward to doing more stuff like this as I think that’s where I may be able to excel, as opposed to the big power moves. Nonetheless, I still need to build strength and get these moves down if I ever hope to have an actual match one day.

We finished off with promos. Me and Johnny did our Technically Hardcore gimmick tag thing against the now famous Born Ville. Pete didn’t have too many complaints and it looks like we are doing okay. Hopefully we can keep moving forwards and not take any steps back. Some of the other promos were excellent, especially from some of the newer guys and even some first timers.

It looked like one of the biggest turn outs this week too. New people keep showing up every Tuesday. If you want to be one of them, check out the Kamikaze Pro Dojo in Birmingham here. It’s a great school with a really nice atmosphere, top trainers and real structure. I hope to see you there soon.

Thanks for reading,

Craig [Editor]

Kamikaze Pro: Dojo Blog #11

kpro7Now this should have been Dojo Blog #12 but I missed a week. There was no post after last Tuesday, because unfortunately I couldn’t make training, which brought to an end my epic 10-0 streak. I’m now 11-1 after getting right back on the horse this week.

I recently got a job after about half a year of trying, and that’s thrown my routine a fair bit. I was at an all-day group assessment securing the position on the day of training. By the time I got home, I would have had to leave again immediately to travel all the way over to Hadley Stadium, having barely slept and been out since 7am. It goes without saying that I called a rain check and got some well needed sleep.

It’s not just wrestling practice that I’ve missed. What with going to induction days and sorting everything out for the job and other things, everything is basically up in the air. That’s meant that I’ve trained far less. I’ve barely seen the weight room in the last week or so, and I’ve only gone for a couple of runs. I’m looking forward to getting into the swing of things, building my money up and seeing things take shape in the coming months. I really needed this job and I’m so, so happy to have it. I just need to get everything figured out and stuff.

Anyway, all out of that non-wrestling related bullshit aside, I should be at the dojo every week now for the foreseeable future again. We’ve also been invited to join the trainers in going to this place near Coventry where you can work on epic flips all day. I saw a wicked video and really want to go along, as it looks like a complete blast! So, good times ahead for wrestling and fitness I hope.

As for this week’s practice, it may just have topped Week 10. It was really productive, enjoyable and certainly memorable. The only downside was that we had to do the cardio (as part of our warm-up and stretching) indoors, as opposed to on the running track outside. It had been raining all day sadly, so I hope that doesn’t happen again next time. It’s so nice to just get the fresh air outside. I get blown up a lot less early and disastrously on the track. I get why we didn’t though. I hate running outside when it’s been raining.

After that we were split into two groups to go through some drills. It really made rolling and bumping more interesting. The first was a forward roll into a flip bump, the second a back roll into a flat back bump. It was a bit more challenging having to try and keep that momentum and allow the space to go from roll to bump. After that we had to do a flip bump over this platform thing that was in front of the crash mat. The challenge here was trying not to freak out about possibly smashing your head on the platform. Everyone came through it fine, and this drill definitely helped us all get used to jumping more. You can’t half-arse it with the platform in front of you.

After that, we were separated into three groups, with myself and Johnny once again going into the middle. This week it was us two and three guys who came in from the experienced group. I think they were all new, unless they were there last week. All were bigger and stronger than me, but that’s a regular occurrence :p – we tried some more power-slams and even northern lights suplexes. It turns out I’m real good at the getting slammed side, but not so much at the picking people up. I wonder why that is. I really need to get into a proper gym as soon as I get paid, and buy more protein (which ran out two weeks ago, and I can’t afford to replace)

It was really fun whichever way around we did it and I did actually get the chance to pull off a couple of the power-slams on one of the guys. It always reminds me of me and my childhood best friend doing tombstone piledrivers on each other when we were nine – such a cool guy vibe.

After we were done with all that, we were brought together and told to prepare a promo. Me and Johnny have been working together on them for weeks now and are really trying to build a legitimate tag team gimmick (the details of which I won’t disclose just yet) and that continued this week. I had spent the previous week coming up with some bullet points and gave it a lot of thought. Johnny did his part perfectly as always, and I am also cautiously optimistic about my own improvement. It’s now The One Man Hardcore Division’s turn to come up with some creative for next week – although we may actually be working with a manager at the next practice.

Anyway, we chatted a bit, did our thing and it went down pretty well – positive feedback from both Ryan and Pete, who said we had listened to and implemented their advice. That was the plan! Then two of the younger trainees (Born Ville) went against us, doing their chocolate/dark side thing. They are always good for a pop or two. Sadly there was no Matt Lightning and Marshall X rap battle this week, but everyone did a good job – especially all of the new guys. For a first time, some of them were absolutely brilliant!

To end off the session, we did some more physical activity, which is always good. It was time for ground attack hell! One of the trainees lay on the crash mat and took a myriad of attacks from the whole group, one-by-one, all in good fun. There were epic knee drops, elbow drops, and even a rolling thunder. I went for the splash over and over again. It’s pretty much the only one I have any idea how to do. I definitely have a lot to learn in that area of the game.

When all was said and done: hands were shook, money was paid, and goodbyes were said. Until next week, that’s the latest on my journey to the very top of professional wrestling. I’ll show you! I’ll show you all!


Craig [Editor]

Kamikaze Pro: Dojo Blog #10

kpro7You know what time it is! Welcome and thank you for checking out Week 10 of my training diary. I am making a late attempt at becoming a professional wrestler. In the UK, a lot of guys start training in their early teens or sometimes even younger. At 24, I guess that makes me the DDP of this ting. Nonetheless, that hasn’t stopped me giving it my best so far.

If you’ve been following my weekly Dojo Blogs, you will know that for the past few weeks we have been drilling a lot of the same stuff. It’s been difficult for all of us beginners to perfect the basic rolls and bumps. Well this week, business really picked up! Before going into too much detail, I’d have to say this was the best organized and most enjoyable session so far. I spoke to a few other beginners who completely agree. Everyone got to do a lot of really focused work in smaller groups, and I think we all benefited from it.

That positive situation seemed largely down to the inclusion of a new trainer – Dan Moloney. I’ve seen this guy wrestle on a load of local shows and he is really good. I also think he might have been at the NSW session I went to a while ago (the one that damn near paralyzed my out-of-shape ass!) I could just be getting him mixed up with someone else, but he has always looked so, so familiar to me. Anyway, Dan came along and gave a helping hand as the third trainer. I don’t know if this is going to be a permanent thing, but I’d love it if that were the case.

Dan being there enabled Ryan and Pete to split the beginners group in half – thus forming three classes of about 4/5 people. It’s pretty self explanatory why that is awesome. Of course we got to work much faster and it was probably easier for the trainers to focus on just a few people and really give a lot of detailed insight. Myself and three other beginners were put into a middle group to practice some awesome suplexes and slams. I don’t think we had done any of this stuff for quite a while, maybe five weeks or so. With that in mind, of course none of us were hitting perfect power slams and verticals, but the practice is invaluable, and I had so much fun doing them. I had to mark out under my breath every time I attempted a scoop slam!

Before everyone even arrived, the session was better than usual. There is normally a group who have the space before us to do some insanity workout or something. It usually eats into our time a little bit, and then when they are done, we have to take all the mats out and get changed, etc. They weren’t there, so when myself and a couple of other trainees arrived early, we got all of the mats and everything out ready so we were already way ahead of time. That meant that when the trainers and everybody else arrived, we didn’t have to wait around for the other group to finish and stuff, we could just crack on.

That is when we did the most grueling warm-up yet. We headed out onto the athletics track and did a lap. I knew there was more to come. Pete Dunne then set us the real challenge. Up and down the steps 10 times, then a lap, then up and down again 5 times, then a final lap. I did myself proud again and managed to complete it all in good time. All of those runs in the park are really starting to pay off.

I know how important cardio is in wrestling and I never want to be blown up after five seconds in a match, so this work is vital. Long may it continue! Plus the fresh air is really good. I’m going for another run after I finish this post – onwards and upwards! I know it’s not exactly the London Marathon, but if you’d asked me to even do the single 400m lap four months ago, I would have struggled. It’s managing to not die during these warm-ups that makes the endless, monotonous running in the park seem more worthwhile.

Anyway, after we got ahead of time and did the mammoth warm-up, it was time to get down to work. The two groups initially combined to go through some basic rolls. After that, we were split into advanced, beginner and… a tiny bit better than beginner, I guess. As I mentioned previously, our group focused on picking each other up and slamming each other down onto the crash mat. I found the being slammed part a lot easier than the doing. I really need to work on my upper body strength. I have been weight training for a few months but the progress has been fairly measly. I could do with some tips. Any jacked up guys reading this, holla at cha boy!

After we had our fun, we were all sent off to prepare promos. Myself and Johnny once again teamed up to try our hand at a tag. I guess we did okay. He is already confident, and my confidence is slightly improving. The substance was average though. We really need to step it up. I’m going to call him tomorrow so we can talk through some ideas. Ryan came up with some pretty funny stuff we could use with our gimmick, so I’m quite excited about working something out. Also, we need to bring a prop for next week’s promo session, so that is something to think about.

Some of the other promos were real good, but as always James absolutely killed it. He has the whole class in stitches every week. My lame attempts pale in comparison. Oh well, learning every week I guess! I don’t wanna flake on my solo promos because I know that’s going to be important, especially for my confidence to do it alone. But now we have a little vision for this tag team, I’m kind of interested to see what we can do with it. Check back next week and I will tell all.

That just about wraps up this week’s post. As always, if you’re in Birmingham or the surrounding areas, do check out the Kamikaze Pro Dojo. I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking to try your hand at pro wrestling, this really is the place to be. Everyone is super nice. The trainers are real good. The whole atmosphere is welcoming. Of course, it’s not babysitting. You do need to show that you want to be there, put in maximum effort and show some respect. But it’s not like some of the horror stories you have probably heard about being “broken” army style. If you give everything you’ve got, these guys will help you. If you watch wrestling, I doubt very much that you haven’t dreamed about trying it. So why not check it out here and come down sometime!

Thanks for reading

Craig [Editor]

Kamikaze Pro: Dojo Blog #9

kpro7Thanks for checking out another brief instalment of the Dojo Blog. I’m journalising (if that’s a word) my journey from wannabe Dave Meltzer to real life pro-wrestler. One day, when I’m known affectionately as “The new Brock Lesnar” you can come back to this page and remember the good old days.

Anyway, that’s enough funny business – back to reality. I’m having fun on my quest so far. Nine weeks are down. I’ve done a two hour training session once a week and a couple of in-ring seminars during that time. I’d like to think I’m getting some of the core basics down (the rolls and bumps). My front bumps could definitely use work, but I feel like I’m making good progress everywhere else.

This week – like last week –  we got out some platforms and took bumps off of them onto the crash mat. This is easily the most fun thing we’ve done there so far. I really don’t mind doing this every time, it’s awesome! As the platform gets high, the kick you get out of doing it increases. No bumps or bruises were sustained, and my confidence is growing. We didn’t really do anything else this week besides rolls and bumps. I guess some members of the beginners class (including myself) could still use some work on them.

However, our warm-up was a little different this week. Rather than doing the sprinting and the high knee drills that we have become accustomed to inside, we ventured out onto the running track next to the building. We train at Hadley Stadium so there is a full 400m track at our disposal. When Pete and Ryan led us out, I didn’t know what to expect. First we went around and did a lap. It wasn’t a competition, but I was still counting – I came in fourth. Then we had to run up and down the steps at the side of the track – that was a killer. The cool breeze was very rewarding though, much nicer than being cooped up inside.

Finally, to finish our outdoor adventure we did another full lap of the track and I came in first. I don’t know if anyone else was really trying (or being competitive about it I mean) but I was so proud! I like to think I’ve really come a long way in the last three months with my cardio. I’ve been working my ass off, and as a smoker, it’s not easy. The last couple of weeks I’ve decided to lean more towards the cardio than weight training – still doing both, but switching emphasis. I think that’s paid off because I doubt I would have even made it around the track three months ago.

Hopefully all the gym cardio, outside running in the park and drills at wrestling practice are paying off for me now. I still need to focus on building muscle, but I really want to make sure I’m not getting easily blown up after 20 seconds. That’s something I can build on. As I said before, I don’t know if the trainers or the advanced guys thought of it as a race (probably not) but I was still really happy to come through first!

So we did the awesome warm-up outside, came back in and did some stretches, then spent the class going over rolls and bumps. We finished off with the promo section as always. The guys asked us to come up with tag team promos this week (which suited me and Johnny, as we had been trying them for the last two weeks anyway). They weren’t too impressed with the showing. None of us really stepped up to the plate, and some flat out refused to do it. Me and Johnny did our best and gave it a good shot, but there is a lot of progress to be made there for sure.

I guess that’s it for this week. I think I’ve covered everything. Cardio is getting better, confidence is growing, hopefully technique is improving, promo fear is slightly going away. Things can only get better. Can’t wait for next Tuesday for more. If you’re in the West Midlands area and are looking to try out training for pro-wrestling, you should check out the Kamikaze Pro Dojo here. It’s a great school with quality trainers and a really cool atmosphere. Check check it!


Craig [Editor]

Kamikaze Pro: 1st Anniversary Show

robbieHere is my run-down of the Kamikaze Pro: 1st Anniversary Show from this last weekend at the Meadway Sports and Social Club. I was very happy to be able to attend another excellent independent wrestling show. The bill looked promising for obvious reasons, and none of the guys on the card failed to deliver. It was a quality show from top to bottom, with a 5 star main event – a terrific way to finish the year for this fledgling Midlands promotion.

Jim Hunter v Chris Brookes v Ethan Silver

I think Chris Ridgeway was supposed to be the third man in this three way dance, but Ethan Silver stepped up and helped provide a terrific match. I’d never seen this kid work, and  I don’t think he is local (he could be, I don’t know) but he was wicked entertaining. He flew and bumped all over the ring and kept me on the edge of my seat. His two opponents are no slouches either. I saw Brookes have the best match I’ve ever seen in person against Zack Sabre Jr in Wolverhampton on Friday. Jim Hunter never disappoints, be it in singles competition or alongside his brother.

silverThese three guys combined to produce some fantastic sequences of chain wrestling and high flying impact. What else could you expect from this match? It was awesome spot after awesome spot, until the leggy Chris Brookes picked up the win and made all the Tiptonites in the audience happy.

Mad Man Manson v Marshall X

This was a revelation. I’d never heard of Manson before a week ago, but it only took him five minutes to captivate me. I had been invited to a seminar he was putting on before the show, but I knew I wouldn’t be up before midday (England game hangover) – boy did I miss out! I’d like to learn a thing or two from this man. He was hilarious! The man bounded around with wrestling boots drew onto his legs with pen, he interacted with the audience like nobody I’d ever seen, and he worked circles around Marshall.

The Black Messiah did not take kindly to madmanall the fun and games. He kept getting so worked up! At one point he took it too far by putting his hands on a young fan who was revelling in his demise. The heroic Mad Man did not let him get away with it. He picked up the kid and used him as a battering ram against Marshall. That sounds a lot worse for the kid than it was. He freakin’ loved it, as did I! Unfortunately, the bad guy cheated to win by using the tights on a cover. It wasn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last time that a cheater has prospered.

Uhaa Nation v Bubblegum

A terrific first half was polished off by none other than Dragon Gate USA sensation Uhaa Nation. I recently participated in an in-ring seminar with the big Georgian and got the chance to marvel at his talents close up. I was extremely excited to see him in action again. His opponent Bubblegum proudly wears the beautiful blue of my own Manchester City, so I have to mark out for him. The heat he gets for reppin’ the Champions is so funny to watch.

uhaaIn true Bubblegum fashion, the Brit used underhanded, dirty (often literally) tactics to get the advantage over his adversary for most of the contest. He ducked and dived, he used tricks and he survived. However, it always seemed that it couldn’t last forever. Big Uhaa made a furious comeback and put down his lowly opponent with that insane standing moonsault/shooting star press combination. The victor posed for pictures in the ring, and so he should. He looked and wrestled like a true star! Hello WWE!?dunnes

Pete Dunne v Damien Dunne

This brother versus brother match kicked off with some brawling outside the ring. It was intense and vicious in the early going, with some serious built-up animosity pouring out of these two great wrestlers. It did go on to become more of a mat contest, which seemed to favour the bigger brother Pete. Despite the tenacious struggling of Damien, it was “Dynamite” who got the win fair and square, to end a very solid match with no wasted time or wasted motion.

The Bhangra Knights v Moustache & Lariats v The Magnums

bhangrasIt seems that every indy show I go to now has a triple threat tag team match on the card. Does that sound like the start of a complaint? It isn’t. I’d like to see a show with six of these matches. I knew that – given the six guys involved – this was going to be priceless entertainment. The match had a bit of everything to please everyone: speed, power, comedy. Everyone performed great and I don’t think there can be any complaints. Like the rest of the card, the tag teams gave the fans everything they had. Moustache and Lariats secured the victory and are now Number One Contenders for the Tag Team Championship. I can’t wait to see them take on The Hunters!

Ryan Smile(c) v Robbie X(c)
– Unification Ladder Match –

When Relentless Division Champion Robbie X and Kamikaze Pro Champion Ryan Smile stepped past a waiting ladder and into the ring, the crowd knew they were set to see something special. The expectations for this main event were high. The atmosphere wasrobbie2 at fever pitch. BBC Three reporters were interviewing people. There were cameramen everywhere (both professional and amateur – that’s me) filming every bit of action they could get, and there was a lot.

I’ve never seen a ladder match in person and I don’t know when I’ll see another one better than this. Ryan Smile didn’t want his mammoth title reign to end, and Robbie X is an equally proud Champion and valiant competitor. Something or somebody had to give. It turned out that both of these guys gave an abundance, in terms of risk and pain. The fans could not complain about any half-arsed efforts here.

These guys were flying onto eachrobbie3 other off the ladder, they were being slammed onto the ladder, they were diving to the outside. Fans were consistently told to make room so these guys could use chairs, tables and whatever else was around to hurt each other. At the end of a truly gruelling mixture of brawling and athletic endeavour, Ryan Smile just about had enough to clamber to the top of the ladder and collect both Championships, which were hanging above the ring throughout.smileting

The now unified Kamikaze Pro Champion sat at the top of the mountain (so to speak) and savoured his moment. Not many in the crowd were impressed with seeing their hero be left broken and strapless. That changed when Ryan (who was visibly emotional, and rightly so) cut a heartfelt promo to end the night. He spoke about giving everything, trying his best and being there from the beginning. I’m not even going to attempt to say how many days he has held the gold, but I think it’s over a year now! What will be next for Ryan Smile in Kamikaze Pro? I guess we will find out at Born and Raised on July 27.

smileshakeThe two guys shook hands and hugged at the end of a really tremendous match. The entire room applauded both individuals, and I felt that was the perfect way to end the night. The announcer thanked everyone who helped make the promotion a success over the last year, all of us fans for coming, and encouraged everyone to look forward to a bright future.

It’s been a fantastic year for Kamikaze Pro, which was topped off by an outstanding 1st Anniversary Show. I will continue to attend their shows and I hope they can grow in strength and stature in the coming months. If you’re in the West Midlands and still missing out on some of the best independent wrestling in the country, click this link and start knowing!

Thanks for reading,

Craig (Editor)

Kamikaze Pro: Dojo Blog #8

kpro7So week eight has been and gone, and I can’t wait for the next training session. You know what they say, time flies when you’re having fun. Once a week just isn’t enough. Maybe in the future I’ll be able to do twice a week, when I’m good enough to almost hang with the other guys. For now, I just need to learn everything I can each week and keep coming back.

As for this week, it was pretty cool. The guys from BBC Three were there filming again. In case I haven’t already mentioned, they are coming around a lot of dojo sessions, shows, etc following Pete and Ryan, for a show called “People Like Us” – at least I think that’s what it is for. Exciting times nonetheless! They were there to focus on those guys, and we will probably just be background, but it was still a little bit nerve-racking. I’ll get to that later.

After a nice workout and some light cardio, we proceeded to crack on with rolling drills. After that was out of the way, we spent the majority of the session giving and taking ground attacks. It was the first time us beginners had got to do this stuff, and we mostly served as practice fodder for the advanced guys. Hell, you gotta pay those dues! I enjoyed it all anyway, but I have to admit, I loved trying to jump in the air and splash over people more than I did taking leg and elbow drops. I also tweaked my right arm a little bit when someone landed on me for one of those moves. No big deal. Pain and gain, and all that.

The most fun period of the session came when the guys dragged out these athletic benches (not sure what they are called, but gymnasts use them) and made a makeshift second rope out of them. I can’t imagine how high the top rope must feel because this itself was pretty nervy. We were told to splash and back bump off them onto the crash mat, in an attempt to build confidence and take us out of our comfort zone. It totally worked! By the end, everyone had fallen helplessly backwards off of that ledge with the confidence that they would not be broken upon landing. Nobody was hurt. Everybody was more confident I’m sure. I know I was!

To finish off, we did promos as usual. Me and Johnny slightly improved our attempt at a dual promo. The guys said we made some progress, so that’s good. Still a long way to go though! The cameras were on us all for this segment, which made it a bit nerve-racking but we all made it through. Matt Lightning came with the rhyming skills and the end of the session spiralled into an unstoppable rap battle between him and James (Marshall X) – that certainly entertained us all!

That’s it for this week. Check back next week. Roll on next Tuesday! In the meantime, I’ll be in Wolverhampton on Friday for Fight Club Pro at the Planet Nightclub. Kevin Steen will be in attendance, so I am beyond excited. On Sunday, I’m going to the Kamikaze Pro 1st Anniversary Show. That means I get to see Uhaa Nation for the second time in nine days, and Ryan Smile is taking on Robbie X in a unification ladder match. It’s going to be one hell of a weekend. Not gonna lie though. I’m most excited about England v Italy on Saturday night. That is going to be immense.

Thanks for reading,

Craig [Editor]

World Cup 2014: Top 10 Ones to Watch

brazilwinThis is my personal selection of the ten players you should most keep an eye on at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil. The action gets under-way tomorrow. How many of these guys will show their true potential on the big stage?

Alexis Sanchez (Chile and Barcelona)

Chile are an outside bet to surprise a few people, as they often do at World Cups. Being in their own conditions will certainly help. England found out at Wembley just how good they can be, as they played the Three Lions off the park. Sanchez is  absolutely key to their chances. He is a player who can play all across the front line from right to left. He has pace, tricks and 22 goals in 67 appearances for his country. That tells you how valuable he is. We are all fortunate to have this very exiting player to watch.

Lionel Messi (Argentina and Barcelona)

The diminutive attacker has struggled for many years to perform at international level, away from the comfort blanket of Xavi Hernandez and Andreas Iniesta. Argentina don’t provide him with quite the same support that he is afforded at Barca. While his two team-mates have won everything you can win with Spain without him, and been key parts of that success, Messi has underperformed massively in international tournaments. However, he did produce during qualifying and led Argentina to a first place finish. He is obviously an outstanding player, but he will need to do it for his country on the big stage. Until he does that, he will always be in the shadow of Diego Maradona.

Mario Gotze (Germany and Bayern Munich)

Germany – as they are at most World Cups – will be favoured to make the latter stages of the tournament. If that is to happen, the 22 year old number 10 will be a big part of it with Germany’s lack of elite centre forwards. They only have Miroslav Klose. He obviously has incredible pedigree – with 69 international goals and great previous tournament performances – but he is 36 years old. That may lead to Gotze playing as a false 9 as the Spanish called it. That is due to the rich array of attacking midfield options at the disposal of coach Joachim Leow, such as: Ozil, Kroos, Schurrle, Muller and Draxler. His bobbing and weaving, dribbling ability and low centre of gravity make him immensely dangerous and a potential star of the show.

ronaldoportugalCristiano Ronaldo (Portugal and Real Madrid)

Portugal stuttered into this year’s tournament, needing a two legged play-off against Sweden to get to Brazil. Nonetheless, never fear. Ronaldo scored four goals over the two games, including a stunning hat trick in Sweden during the second leg. If he can carry his country to the late stages of the tournament, he is a possible Player of the Tournament contender. Ronaldo is an astonishing athletic specimen with incredible aerial ability, a powerful strike from either foot and searing pace. He has had some injury concerns heading in, but if fit, he should shine as the best player in the world by far.

Eden Hazard (Belgium and Chelsea)

Belgium are a team well worthy of their position as an outside bet from the European nations. If they adapt to the conditions sufficiently enough, they have an outstanding pool of talent in every position from back to front. However, they will need their talisman, their wing wizard at his best. If they are to push the very best teams and make some waves in Brazil, Hazard will need to be on top form.

Andrea Pirlo (Italy and Juventus)

The great Italian is to retire international football after the 2014 tournament, so sit back and watch a true great for the last time in the old Italian blue. Despite being 35 years old, he still runs the show for both Italy and Juventus. The Azzurri coach Cesare Prandelli builds the whole team around him. He plays in front of the back line and starts attacks from his deep lying position like a quarter-back in the NFL. His passing range is incredible, incisive and deadly accurate. England will need to stop him if they are to have any success against the Italians.

James Rodriguez (Colombia and AS Monaco)

Colombia are a very interesting team, particularly in this tournament as it’s in South America. During qualifying, they finished second behind Argentina. Already at the young age of 22, Rodriguez is a star player. He thrives in coach Jose Peckerman’s fluent style of play, has great dribbling ability, immense technical ability and is comfortable wide and drifting inside. Rodriguez also isn’t afraid to put in a shift for his team.

suarezLuis Suarez (Uruguay and Liverpool)

He has injury concerns over his knee going in but it would be stupid to discount Suarez. Uruguay are one of my favourites to win the World Cup. They possess lots of quality but they will need their talisman, who scored 11 in 16 during qualifying, if they are to achieve their potential. Suarez has a unique ability to beat a man in a tight area and also works expectationally hard for the cause. He can make something out of absolutely nothing and is a clear contender for Player of the Tournament.

Neymar (Brazil and Barcelona)

Brazil must be able to shoulder the expectations of millions this summer as they go in search of a sixth triumph. They won the 2013 Confederations Cup in convincing fashion, with Neymar named Player of the Tournament. The youngster operates in a free role from the left hand side, in coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s system. He displays an abundance of pace, quick feet and a keen eye for goal. Unlike most players of his generation, he has good passing ability too. He is certainly one to watch and should entertain us all at the very least.

Arjen Robben (Netherlands and Bayern Munich)

The Dutch flew through qualifying with 9 wins and a draw from 10 games. Coach Louis Van Gaal has changed the style of play from incumbent Bert Van Marwijk’s unattractive defensive football to a fluent, quick,  possession dominated style. His philosophy sees a lot of young talents such as Bruno Martins Indi, Daley Blind, Jordy Clasie and others being allowed to express their ability. However, Robben – along with Robin Van Persie – will need to produce if the Dutch are to go deep in the competition. The wide-man has searing pace and direct running, and that will be key. His decision making has improved as he has age. He is now a deadly finisher and has a much improved work ethic.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the 2014 World Cup!