The Wild Ride

Well, I’ve made a long reaching decision. With a few limited exceptions, my involvement in the Australian wrestling scene as an involved party is at an end. The limited exceptions are the occasional appearance with HRPW in Adelaide and once it gets off the ground BCW in Albury/Wodonga – and supporting when I can GPW in Gippsland. And maybe any others that I can fit in interstate. I may have got a gig with EPW recently in Perth, but they ran into some major booking issues with injuries to key players and I was lost in the shuffle so to speak. That’s okay. It happens. But the point is, I no longer have a home fed.

No doubt a few people will be saying words to the effect of “Thank goodness”. Frankly I don’t care what those people think, because their opinion of me never really mattered. I’m not going to go into detail about the trigger, except to say that two individuals disappointed me – and one of them should have known better. The other doesn’t know better, and I’ll leave that there.

But let’s face it. It’s been a wild ride. I came into this business with dreams like we all do. To be a referee, to be a manager, to be a commentator, to be an authority figure, to run and book a show and/or promotion, and to work a match. Out of those six, I’ve achieved five. The exception is booking and promoting a show – and thanks to my bankruptcy in 2004 that’s never going to happen unless I win Tattslotto. The others have been fantastic. Referee in 2002 when I debuted on August 31 at the Melton Indoor Sports Centre. Commentator in 2003, at the last EWA show in Geelong at the Showgrounds, and at the St.George Association show within two weeks of each other. Manager in 2005 for two shows and then again in August 2006. That show in 2006, XAW Hardcore Paradise, was great in that I did all three that night. That was my only period as a heel. I have also managed as a face, in November 2011 and again in August 2012.

As I reflected in my Mulgrave shoot promo on You Tube, it was a hard battle back from my stupid action of late 2005. But I did it and on November 19, 2011 I officially achieved my fourth dream – authority figure. Commissioner. Later that became Head of Talent in a storyline device. As for working a match, that came completely out of the blue – a Battle Royal in June 2012, and then an eight person tag in July 2012. The tag wasn’t the best match, and only two good things came out of it – tagging with George Julio (belting Paul Vaughan in the belly while George held him wide open for me), and the finish when I was wrapped up in a small package by Lowzen and abusing the heck out of heel referee David Morgan post match. But the rest of my work in that match was rubbish.

Perhaps it was an omen. There was a changing of the guard at NAW in October, and things wound away from my work on the show – even as a referee which I was tiring in anyway. After all – when I debuted I was 37. Now I’m 47 going on 48. But having my work in the sound and video effectively smacked in the head really did hurt.

So is this really it? In this business, as Vince McMahon likes to say, never say never. I’m keeping Wrestling Planet going, and I’ll be keeping in touch with my friends in this business. I won’t name them of course. And if something pops up that interests me and doesn’t involve certain people, I’ll stick my hand up for sure.

But I will name the three people who I want to thank for their help over the years.

1. George Julio – He took me in as a referee and was always on my side when things got hairy. When I did the wrong thing, I admitted it and George was the first person I apologised to back in late 2005. He understood me above most other people, and when I left the show with NAW he understood why. He will always have my utmost respect and he is the core reason (if not the only reason) why NAW remain on my website, when in any other circumstances NAW would have joined the banned brigade.

2. Henry Jones – Without a doubt the best booker in the country. I already knew that even before he took on the job at NAW through his work with PWA Victoria. I always knew he was a professional from the first match I refereed him in, in January 2003 in Geelong. He was down on me a bit in mid 2003, but in the end he knew that I hadn’t done what I had been accused of. It was Henry who booked me into the position of Commissioner – not as a favour or anything, but as a reward for my hard work to improve NAW’s production values as reflected above. That’s what Henry does for anyone. Rewards hard work.

3. Blake Mitchell – Blake cops a lot of undeserved flack, and I am one of the few people willing to defend him. That effort made him a life long buddy. Blake has made mistakes and he’ll be the first to admit that. But he has never to my knowledge made the same mistake twice, and for that he has my respect. As the owner of HRPW and XAW he has been my one and only booker in Adelaide (except for UWA-SA, which Blake was also involved with as a wrestler). Blake has booked me whenever I’m in Adelaide for a show, even on the fly. His booking of me at XAW Hardcore Paradise as commentator, manager and referee was wonderful and I reciprocated at the end of the night with a impromptu pay off for the fans for pissing them off. Something someone else needs to learn (no names)!

Of course there are others as well, but I don’t want to get anyone into trouble for just being my friend. That’s how fickle this business has become. I will just briefly mention three other people who I can name – Kaine Morrison, Erin Davies and Paul RJ. I have to say that Melton in October 2012 was a joy to work as the last one before the guard change. In a way it made up for the my BS work in the tag match in July taking the superkick and the standing moonsault – although I do put that down to actually practising the spot before the show.

In closing this update, I wish everyone the best in their efforts elsewhere. I’ll always be proud to say that I saw Emma/Tenille Tayla in action at PWA Victoria – even if it was just as a valet. I just hope the current storyline they are going with in NXT leads to something positive. I’m delighted for Ryan Rollins getting a AAA contract in Mexico – his in ring style suits that place to a tee and I suspect that may lead him to TNA and their X Division as that would also suit. Nikita Naridian at the same time got a developmental contract with AAA and she has the right attitude to make a go of it. Whether she can get to WWE or TNA is anyone’s guess because that takes more than just the right attitude. I’m not a fan of Matt Silva’s work the limited times I’ve seen him, but I’m prepared to be proved wrong and hopefully he’ll get somewhere in WWE via NXT – and maybe even wipe the memory once and for all of that dummy called Nathan “No Show” Jones.

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