Wrestling Resurgence – This is Spinal Graps
March 3 2019
Another weekend, another new promotion and another new city. I’m Making Towns in 2019. Nottingham is an interesting place for me. My mom nearly worked there (she had a job interview). My brother went to college there and dropped out. My girlfriend and I, this is a long time ago before I got married, wanted to move there for a fresh start. Nottingham is a place I have felt connected to for a long, long time and yet I’ve never been there. Never set foot in the city…until today.
SHOW #8: WRESTLING RESURGENCE THIS IS SPINAL GRAPS
It was a wet Spring day in the East Midlands for my first trip to Nottingham. Pouring with rain until the train pulled into Derby and easing off into light drizzle afterwards. It never occured to me that I could and see stuff in Derby btw, it’s even closer than Nottingham. The East Midlands were drab and borderline depressing and Storm Freya was moving in on the UK. The forward edge; seasonably appropriate rainfall.
On getting to Nottingham I had a very short stroll to the venue, it’s less than ten minutes, and there’s a Sainsburys on route. I grabbed a sausage roll on the way in and a sandwich on the way back. The venue is an art gallery. Not a converted art gallery mind you; an actual art gallery. There are several modern art exhibitions upstairs and then a twisting staircase down into “The Space”, which is where the wrestling happens. It’s on one side of the lower deck with merch, bar and a cafe on the other.
Inside “The Space” is a square box with everything you would hope to run a wrestling show with. There’s a professional lighting rig, a crow’s nest for management and a backstage area as the whole building is designed for the purpose of catwalks and plays and such. An art gallery. Wrestling in an art gallery. Wrestling Is Art.
The building has room for around 200 people all seated. I don’t generally like all seated venues so I went for front row for a better view. It’s the first time I’ve been front row for a show in some time and I forgot the pleasure of being so incredibly close to the action. Wrestlers regularly crashed into my shins falling out of the ring. A wonderful experience.
Charlie Morgan def. Jetta
The Henchmen def. Rocky Mac & Damon Moser and Paul Malen & Danny Chase
Gene Munny def. Jimmy Havoc (FUCKING YES, I have not celebrated a win like that in a long, long time)
The Sanitarium def. Sierra Loxton, Chakara & Candy Floss
Spike Trivet def. Paul Robinson
Kanji def. Charli Evans
Big Grizzly won a six man Scramble
Jack Sexsmith def. Eddie Dennis
If I had to sum up the show in one sentence it’d be: a lot of fun, nothing overly substantial and I was a bit miffed at how late it ran. Charlie Morgan and Jetta kicked us off and did a bang up job of getting the crowd going. Jetta’s fish hook reversal was beautiful and her “have you ever seen the Exorcist” head vice also had me in bits. We also had a fierce debate over whether teeth count on a rope break as Charlie escaped a Cattle Mutilation. I actually slapped hands with Charlie as she went to the back and tried to remember the last time I actually slapped hands with a wrestler. I think it was Mohammed Yone in 2006. Shaking hands with Trent Seven at FCP does not count. Nor does getting that forearm bump thing off Chris Hero.
Gene Munny vs. Jimmy Havoc was my match of the night. For starters Munny is one of my favourites right now. He has a great balance of cowardice and actual hidden toughness. The way he got fired up in this shows what he’s capable of but he also approached the match perfectly. Trying for a lock up, to Havoc’s bemusement, or covering up his sensitive nipples. It was Gene Munny’s match. Havoc had just as much fun working with Charles the ref; telling him he’d stab if he counted him on the ropes and reprimanding the crowd for doing it for him. “I can’t stab you all. I’ll get in trouble. I can hide one body” Also his presence is intensified by AFI playing and nobody can tell me different. Sensational win for Gene. I knew he could do it. Nobody kicks out of the Ainsley Lariat.
Among other stuff I really enjoyed: Spike Trivet! His heel act is well groomed and respectable. He makes minor changes depending on the audience but remains a Tory bastard regardless of context. He’s very good at it. His demonstration of “posh boy kung fu” was also a winner. Kanji is someone I saw last year and thought had a lot of potential. It feels like she’s made a quantum leap since then and is definitely one to watch out for. I know she’s not very old but neither is Millie McKenzie and she’s a globe-trotter already. That ‘Next Generation’ of UK Women’s wrestlers are coming through strong.
Big shout out to my personal main event; the six-way scramble. Los Federales Santos Jr did wonderful stuff with a metal detector, including bringing his own sound effects. As did OJMO, smuggling vegetables in his pants. “It’s my debut, I’m really excited”. Visage’s reaction to the reveal of his groin was also incredible; mouthing “yes” to the crowd on my side. Then OJMO hit a cucumber shot that resulted in bits of cucumber spraying all over the building. I had a piece on my arm! It was worse than light tubes.
Finally to the gripe; the show was supposed to finish around 7pm, which was fine by me. I could get my train and get home and write this review. But it didn’t. The main hadn’t even started at 7pm so I didn’t see any of it. I had to leave and I wasn’t alone. I saw several other guys walking out before and after me. You have to stick to your times, guys. I’m aware FCP never finish on time but it’s a Friday night and I get a hotel anyway so I can go out drinking. Sunday in Nottingham I just want to go home. So don’t over run. I feel bad for Sexsmith and Dennis. The most I saw them work was the merch table.
Storm Freya had moved in with a vengeance as I was walking across Nottingham. Extremely windy weather. The result was a tree blocking trainlines. Luckily my train got through on time and I got home at 9.20pm, which is pretty good going. I’ve had time to pop to the shops, drink a beer and write this and it’s only 10.10pm! Would I go to Resurgence again? Sure. Their communications were good, I like the venue and I had a nice time. If they could tighten up on the finish time that would be perfect. Although starting earlier might be an idea. I get the feeling most of the crowd came from closer, although I saw a few faces from further afield, so maybe travel isn’t something they think about a great deal. Regardless I would recommend them.