Tag Archives: Scotland

Blackridge Wrestling: In aid of Cancer Research

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Nestled quietly in West Lothian, the small town of Blackridge sits snugly in between noisier neighbours in Glasgow and Edinburgh; both of which have seen a huge resurgence in local independent wrestling in recent years. Blackridge however, had never seen a wrestling event in their town. Local resident and wrestling fan, Martin McGreskin looked to change this by promoting an evening of quality local wrestling, with the promise of crowning the first ever King Of Blackridge, in an eight man elimination tournament.

Also advertised: a title defence by SSW Champion Kid Fite against PBW’s Dylan Angel.

With the Craig Inn Centre bathed in glorious sunshine and much of the proceeds going towards a worthy cause close to Martin’s heart, it didn’t take much persuasion for the town to turn up in force.

Their good faith was to be rewarded; This was one hell of a night. 

1st Quarter-Final Match in the inaugural King Of Blackridge Tournament:

Donnie T vs Lucha DS

The high-flying masked luchadore DS, may have expected to ride the momentum of energy around Craig Inn during the opening bout, but any attempted drive became stalled by an unimpressed looking Donnie T. The overly brash and confident DT seemed in no rush get the match started. When the two eventually did lock up, DS found himself grounded once more, overpowered by a much larger and stronger opponent. However, grounding LuchaDS is one thing; keeping him down is another. As the pace quickened, a suicide dive to the floor and a high Cross Body had Donnie T reeling. An impressive Springboard into an RKO resulted in a (very) near fall. DT hit back with a powerful spear, which almost sent him into the Semi-Final. But it was LuchaDS with a 619 and a top rope Swanton that sealed it in the end, progressing him to the next round.

2nd Quarter-Final Match

David The Beloved vs Wee Jay Smalls w Chantelle

If pace was missing during the early goings of the opening bout, there was plenty of it here. The tenacious Wee Jay Smalls quickly and expertly spilled the arrogant and vocal David The Beloved to the outside with a smart hurricanrana, after taking exception to DTB laying his hands on valet, Chantelle. There was no let up from Wee Jay until a wicked looking clothesline by DTB seemed to change the complexion of the match. Wee Jay (who showcased a tonne of heart) continued to trouble his larger opponent with speed and ring awareness. But, ultimately, David The Beloved proved that he is every bit as good as he said he was, spiking Wee Jay with a second rope DDT and an expertly applied German Suplex into a bridge for the three count. David The Beloved progressed to the second Semi-Final.

 

3rd Quarter-Final Match

Saqib Ali vs Brandon Adams

A familiar face to many, Brandon Adams was a dark horse going into this tournament: one half of the SSW Tag Team Champions looking to make a mark as a singles competitor. Saqib Ali on the other hand, didn’t come to Blackridge to make friends. A win for the canny ‘Sultan of Swing’ here though would go along way in making a mark of his own.

Despite initially avoiding the sharp kicks of Adams, Ali struggled gain a foothold on this match until a stiff Clothesline and a Standing Suplex gave Saqib the upper hand. In truth, these two athletes were evenly matched, as they jostled on the top rope in attempt to gain any advantage. A missed Super-kick by Adams into an Inside Cradle by Ali, almost snatched a three count. In the end, Adams was caught coming into the ring by a stiff kick to the middle rope by Ali. This brief window allowed for Ali to hit a brutal looking Curb Stomp for the 1,2,3, sending him through to the second semi-final.

4th Quarter-Final Match

Jonathan Richards vs Kaiden King

If Adams was a dark horse in this eight man tournament, Kaiden King was surely the odds on favourite. King was greeted to a hero’s welcome by the young crowd at ringside, and it was very clear that King had intentions of taking the title of ‘King of Blackridge’ home with him. Standing in his way was Jonathan Richards: a man that perhaps was overlooked as a viable contender for the title. Although Richards proclaimed before he match that he “couldn’t find Blackridge on Google Maps” he certainly found a foothold in this match, silencing the rowdy crowd by working tirelessly on the knee of King. Any comeback by King looked unlikely as Richards wrapped the knee not once, not twice, but three times around the steel ring post. A painful looking Half Boston Crab in the middle of the ring, applied on the already damaged knee of King had Kaiden on the verge of tapping out. But the sheer toughness and resolve of King somehow managed to find him to the bottom rope to break the count. The bottom rope would save King again, grabbing on to break the count after a Pedigree by Richards. A frustrated figure in Richards would bring a steel chair into the ring. With imminent danger present, King struggled out of a second Pedigree attempt and caught Richards with a lightening quick RKO, sending Kaiden King into the last semi-final match. But would Kaiden be 100%?

  • At Interval, Hot Dogs, drinks and raffle tickets were all on sale, in aid of Cancer Research UK. Martin is also collecting donations via a Just Giving page. If you would like to donate to Cancer Research UK, you can do so via the link here

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1st Semi-Final Match:

David The Beloved vs LuchaDS

A pairing of contrasting styles awaited the fans in the first of the semi-final match ups. An over zealous David The Beloved looked to gain the upper hand straight from the bell, rushing LuchaDS. However, DS had this scouted, sending the egotistical DTB over the top rope to the floor and nailing him with a majestic Moonsault from the apron. DTB recovered well from the early setback, spiking DS with a hard shoulder tackle which had the Luchadore rocked. Much like Kaiden King earlier, LuchaDS showed great resolve and looked to have one foot in the final. DS climbed high to the top rope, looking to deliver a Swanton Bomb that would surely send DTB packing. But as DS came soaring down, DTB managed to raise his knees up just in time, and followed up with a devastating modified Enziguri for the three count. David The Beloved would go on to the final in a hard fought victory.

2nd Semi-Final Match:

Saqib Ali vs Kaiden King

Although Kaiden King was in the semi-final, he would have an uphill battle against a fresher looking Ali. Kaiden had been through a war with Jonathan Richards earlier in the evening and looked to be carrying a rib injury on top of his already damaged knee. And like a shark to blood, a crafty Saqib Ali would target these injuries after cowardly attacking Kaiden before the bell. It seemed only a matter of time until Ali knocked off the ever popular King. But suddenly, Ali found himself on the receiving end of an RKO putting him down for the three count! Kaiden King moved onto the final, showing great determination against ever stacking odds. Would this be his night?

SSW World Championship Match:

Kid Fite(c) vs Dylan Angel

Sometimes in wrestling, words can not describe the feeling surrounding a match nor do justice to what took place. This was an incredibly special match by two very technical, hard hitting and talented performers. The crafty veteran Kid Fite and his PBW prodigy, Dylan Angel left everything in the ring for the raucous Blackridge crowd. You could forgive the young fans for getting excited; not only was this for the SSW Title, Fite was on fine heinous form, letting the fans know exactly how he felt about them. As the young fans rushed the ring in protest of Fite and in support of Angel, the match itself looked like it may never get under way! When it did, the Blackridge crowd was in for a treat.

Chain wrestling dominated the early stages as both men vied for position. There was very little between the two as both looked for an opening. Angel looked the likelier to gain the advantage, climbing the top rope looking to come down hard on Fite with an Axe Handle. Fite had this covered though and met Angel with a swift kick to the abdomen followed by an agonizing looking kick to Angel’s lower back. Fite, ever the opportunist, proceeded to lay into Angel, landing a stiff looking uppercut and a high back elbow turning him inside out.

What was a vocal and energetic crowd, now fell silent as Fite brutally dissected Angel. The high-flying PBW star, for now was grounded. But perhaps with the SSW title in mind, he dug down deep, mustering an enziguri to the back of Fite’s head. A spirited contender, who looked like he had just enough of Kid Fites brutality, forcefully sent Fite to the outside with as hard a chop as you are ever likely to see or hear. This descended the SSW title match into an all out brawl. The referee could not control the two as they spilled out the fire exit into grounds behind them, followed by a horde of young Blackridge fans.

The battle continued around ringside as the two went blow for blow. When the action eventually made it back into the ring, the referee may have wished he had called for a disqualification: after some amazing near falls and as Angel went to the top rope one more time, the referee was pushed into the very same ropes by Fite causing Angel to lose his balance. This allowed for Kid Fite to hit his devastating Lock-back DDT for the victory in what was a fascinating and unforgettable match.

Winner and still SSW World Champion: Kid Fite.

Final Match in the King of Blackridge Tournament:

Kaiden King vs David The Beloved

And it all came down to this. Two men, fighting it out to be crowned the first ever King of Blackridge. David The Beloved: who powered his way through to the final against two terrific high flyers. Against Kaiden King: who showed real courage, knocking off two dangerous opponents when all seemed lost. As the night had descended into all out anarchy, David The Beloved and Kaiden King were not to be out-shined, taking the action to the outside from the get go. King sent DTB head first into the steel ring post, which seemed to allow for some rest bite for King to assess his previous injuries. But it seemed DTB may have been fishing for a chance to target the walking wounded as shortly after, King found himself laid out after being brutally whipped into the ring steps and beaten down by an enraged DTB.

As the action spilled back into the ring, the crown looked destined to be placed upon the head of The Beloved. A wicked DDT and a high kick to the temple all but sealing the victory. But if there was thing the Blackridge fans learned that evening, was to never count out Kaiden King. And once again, when all seemed lost, King somehow managed to hit an RKO on a stunned DTB picking up the victory.IMG_0302

Your winner, and the first ever King of Blackridge, Kaiden King.

After the match as King was celebrating, Kid Fite made a shocking reappearance, holding the SSW Title Belt high in the air. The message was loud and clear:

The King may have a crown for now, but the throne belongs to Kid Fite.

Martin’s Just Giving Page

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Half Baked: Lessons Learned From a Dead End Career In Hospitality – Part 1.

Pappas Kitchen

I’d go on to associate 3:00am on a Sunday morning with stumbling home drunk from town: eighty quid down, my trainers scuffed to bits and guided by streams of piss and the stench of Joop to the nearest 24 hour bakery. Before those bleary years, there was a time that I’d be ‘working’ at this god awful hour, before I would notice what laborious road I was hurtling down; and about eleven hours before your mum had the dinner on. I’d go on to work in many restaurants, cafes and bars. But it all began in my dad’s small bakery in Torry at the unsullied age of twelve. This was work experience. An introduction to the working world and a literal awakening by a tinny cheap alarm clock picked up from the cash and carry.

My dad always worked in the industry. A baker by trade and a grafter. Growing up, I have memories of him dotting about the city from A to B, looking to pick something up or sort something out. I would be given the choice of coming in or waiting in the car, as he went down some unspecified stairwell or chap on the back door. I would usually pick the latter as these visits tended to be lengthy, despite the assurance of “just popping in”. As he would talk about, (whatever the hell bakers talked about…) I’d get to try the cakes or be shown how something is done or how a machine works. For example, he worked in a little shop that specialized in wedding cakes. I remember being given a blank cake board and a piping bag with various coloured icing to play with. This was the equivalent of pencils and paper to keep me busy and kept me out of the way. I didn’t mind. I found these experiences fascinating. I fondly remember meeting some local characters and learning how an industrial kitchen functioned.

My dad would go on to buy The Pantry: a small, no thrills bakery that catered mainly for the early morning trade. Initially, he ran the place single-handedly, although help would come in later in the morning to serve the public. I think he found the experience somewhat lonely. In my opinion, the best part of any kitchen job (bar, you know, actually cooking things and completing a successful service) is the social environment created by you and your colleagues. Working side by side with the right team can keep you going throughout a long day. Without that, you may only have the radio for company and the inner workings of a tired brain.

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On Saturday night, I’d go to bed fully clothed because…that’s what grown-ups do?…dreading the inevitable 3:00am wake up from my tinny pocket alarm clock; and my dad who would absurdly wake me up a minute or two before it went off. I often ignored his attempts to wake me in hope that I would get away with not going. This had limited success. I’d lumber into the car in pitch darkness and sleep for most of the journey, awakened as we approached the bakery, by the stench of fresh fish and the sound of screeching seagulls.

Opening up was always the worst part: lighting all the stoves, cranking them up full blast to get some heat into the kitchen; waiting for hot water to boil and counting the minutes and seconds until you could take your jacket off. Front of house was basic but practical: brightly coloured price tags peppered the walls and the display cabinets lay dark and bare. Between the hours of three and six, my dad would systematically work through producing pies, cakes, pancakes, etc. I’d be tasked with putting them on display, cleaning and other odd jobs. We’d also get deliveries during this time. I’d find myself making cups of teas and bacon rolls for the tradesman either ending or beginning their shift. You could usually tell which, by the dirtiness of their overalls and the level of weariness in their voice when they ordered.

As the morning went on and darkness fell to light, the bakery would get busier and I would get chirpier, knowing that the arrival of day come with my departure. I’d either get a lift home from my grandfather who would often help out; or from some indistinguishable woman who would do the sandwich run around local offices and drop me off on the way back. Before leaving, I would shuffle up to Blockbuster Video to rent a couple of Mega Drive games – this is how I would spend the rest of my weekend.

These sporadic shifts would indicate who I would become in the working world. My dad would go on to sell The Pantry and I dodged diabetes as a result. His next acquisition would be something far more exciting.

The tinny alarm clock never did ring again. Where as I, was just beginning to chime.


Leaving Home Part 3

I looked like a Scottish Stereotype,sitting in my underwear,smoking away in junkie squalor. Fabian smiled never the less and introduced himself. He had a gelled fringe and an orange coloured jumper. After a short introduction Fabian decided to go to the Olympic village. He offered me along. I declined. I’m not sure why. Perhaps I was still feeling overwhelmed. Or perhaps I just felt comfortable and safe in my Marks and Spencer’s briefs.

That night it was time to meet the group. I was up for this. It was like entering the big brother house. I couldn’t wait to meet the characters I’d spend all my time with the next few weeks. I had a new-found confidence running through my blood stream. For some reason – even though I had never met these people or been in this position – felt like we already had one thing in common.

As I got the lift down to the third floor I shared the space with a blonde girl and her boyfriend. There was no introductions nor a hello. Just polite smiles. We stepped out the lift greeted by a pool table,a small corner shop and a bar with comfortable looking sofas and a big tv. There was a long table with chairs and a welcome pack on each space. Some of the group had arrived. I hovered. Everyone did the same.After ten minutes or so most people  had arrived and it was time to sit down and meet the group.

Our tour guide was a young Chinese lady (not that obvious – we had a French Canadian guy later on in the trip) whose name escapes me just now. Lucy perhaps? Answers on a postcard please. She seemed fun (i’e – easily swayed into a drink or two) As it turns out – I was right. LACY! That’s her name. Competition now closed.

First on the agenda was the mandatory introductions followed by a drawn out run down, of the next few weeks –

“My name is Darren and I am from Aberdeen,Scotland. First time away on my own so you all have to be nice to me”.

Great i thought. Could of said something cool.Of course most people we’re in the same boat. I felt like I already knew the answer to the others questions (after all – I did look at the check in sheet) I had already mapped out drunken scenarios and unforgettable experiences. Everyone at the table had a part to play. Some more than others.

Jim had caught my eye. As pale and as ginger as you like from Doncaster. He was also alone. I don’t recall our first conversation but im about 99 percent sure it was about football. The guy knew more about the SPL than I did. We had soon found a lot of common ground (same bull shit girl troubles that plagues us all from time to time)and I remember staying up untill the early hours playing pool most of the night and drinking beer. He had left for the same reasons as me. To get out the UK.

“Why China?” I asked him. He didn’t know really. Just like me.

I had made a friend. Abd after the trip it wasn’t going to be the last i seen of Jim…..

I went to bed with a full day ahead of me in the morning. And I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. I’m not going to lie and say I knew much about the city and what it had to offer. The plan was to find someone who did and latch onto them. As it turned out – I ended up doing that the whole trip. I really should have read some books or at least did some sort of research,but to be honest i liked the fact I was stepping into the unknown. I’m not one for being stuck behind a camera or lost in a guide-book. Losing my wallet is more my style. Passing out in a gutter. Putting my last quid in a bandit. And I’m all the better for it. Now of course times have changed. Without even knowing it  – I became fairly organised. Off to Tiananmen square  – one of China’s most famous landmarks followed by the Forbidden City. It was a grey,dull day but we we’re in good spirits. Before every section of the tour there was a little history lesson by our guide. By the second hour – I had switched off. Terrible I know. It was grand,impressive and the obvious way to start a trip in Beijing. However since the group had only recently met we had one eye on where we would drink at night. Luckily – someone else was already on to that.

That evening we gathered the troops together and headed out. Rumour had it that there was a strip of clubs and bars somewhere. I really couldn’t envision it. I hadn’t seen one bar or even anything that looked like one, on my travels so far. Of course this is China. The party wouldn’t come looking for us. We would have to go to it. What seemed like countless underground stops and miles of walking we arrived. Out of the darkness came this bustling,bright and seedy strip lined with music bars and hookers. I really wasn’t expecting it. I guess I was a little naive aswell as unprepared.Most bars we’re packed and we had a large group. It was going to be a problem getting everyone in,sat and drunk.We had walked the strip twice. I decided to speak up as we already had started to lose people and some we’re becoming impatient (including myself).I suggested we sat in the first bar that could hold us untill we decided on a better idea. Fuck the prices and fuck the venue. We could always move on later.

“Lets just grab a seat eh? Happy folks?”

Deal.

We we’re greeted by a musical performance by what can only be described as the Chinese Steven Segal backed by The Cheeky Girls. He had a terrible backing track and lip synched every word.He was supported by the terrible dancing and backing vocals of cheeky girl 1 and 2. Don’t worry though. He made sure we all knew his guitar was working by crancking a chord out  before songs,then continue to fake that too. In short – it was utterly brilliant. They seemed to love it and we did too. Plus cheeky girl 2 was hot. Winners all round. I have no idea how that night ended. All I remember is we had fun. And for a group of strangers that we’re stuck together for the next month or two – that was important.