Paying Dues: The First Title Match

Elite British Wrestling – “Montgomery Brawl”

Montgomery Hall, Wath-Upon-Dearne

“The Warrior” Paul Malen (c) vs Alan Kay for the EBW Catch Championship

In the week leading up to this match, I was driving myself insane. I’ve always been one for questioning my own ability. I’ve always been one for doubting myself; it’s just what i do. But leading up to this I was doing it more than usual.

In training I’d been sloppy. I’d been missing little things that I wouldn’t usually miss, I’d been extra forgetful, more so than usual for me and then in actual life poop hit the fan too!

Why now? Why does this have to happen now? Why not next week? Why not never? EH? But for what ever reason life decided to up the ante this week.

Fine.

WHATEVER.

I turned up to the show, went in to the dressing room and just sat down. The nerves were there this time. I’d never felt like this before, I was actually full on nervous. I’ve had butterflies before, but this was fear. Fear of messing up, a fear of letting the team down and more importantly a fear of making the wrong impression on a man that I admire in wrestling.

I had worked for this point for two years and now it was here, I was terrified.  Even sat here in my office chair writing this now I am getting nervous just thinking about how nervous I was. I remember sitting on the dressing table side of the locker room, everyone around me chatting, but it was just a blur. I can’t remember a single thing that was said in that locker room and not for the reason that I can’t remember other stuff (which I’ll come back to later).

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I started to get dressed. I cut my shirt up a bit more, with the goal to eventually go shirtless and this is me taking baby steps in to revealing more skin. I put on my shoes, knee pads, kick pads, shorts and t-shirt and look at myself in the mirror.

This was actually happening.

I was getting a match against Paul Malen.

Now, I have had a match against Paul previously, in the same venue, but it was a six person tag, and I was looking forward to that. But all I got to do was a couple wrist-locks and a bit of the heat. It felt like I’d wasted my shot so this was the time to make it up again. I waited as long as I could to get ready and the day seemed to drag. But the moment I was dressed and ready to go it felt like everything was rushing by.

It was now my time to go. I was stood behind the curtain waiting for my music to play. It felt like an eternity. I was so eager to get out and perform while all at the same time I just wanted five more minutes. Our music hit I walked out and just stared into space.

Everyone was going mental around me and I was just stood there. Malen makes his entrance gets into the ring. We stand in opposite corners. The ref, Neil Ayrton, comes over and shows me my potential prize.

Paul starts firing the crowd up, clapping, cheering and singing going on around me. Time for shenanigans.

I hop out of the ring just before the bell is rung.

“I’ll get in when I am ready!”

The crowd go sour but in the right way.

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I give it a couple minutes and roll back in the ring only to walk straight back on out the other side. I walk up in to the bleachers and take a seat on the steps. Kids screaming at me, calling me a chicken, scaredy cat and everything else under the sun.

Eventually I get in the ring and the bell sounds.

This is where it all goes a bit fuzzy.

At some point in this match I took a knock to my head and its made me forget a chunk of this match!

There’s one of two points this could have happened. It could have happened where I was taking buckle bumps to the head, or happened when I went up top for a flying headbutt. On the headbutt I saw a flash so i assume it happened then but who knows?!?

From what I do remember of the match it went very well.

The crowd, which was a quiet in general, came up when they were told to come up, but otherwise they were sat and enjoying the show. They went crazy at one point. For those of you who have seen a Paul Malen match before, he has a very popular part of a match he does often.

While on the outside with his opponent, he will give them a couple strikes and allow them to recover slightly. While they recover, he asks a kid if the wish to be part of the show. If the kid says yes, and they usually do, he will lift them up and get the kid to kick his opponent in the face.

This happened to me.

I love this spot, I really do, but what I forgot is that kids aren’t trained professionals. They’re just a kid! A word of advice for anyone taking this spot in the future – get your hands up or risk the wrath of a kids size 6 in your face!

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We got to the finish. Paul hit his flatliner finish and scrambled for the cover. Ivy, who had been causing mischief  throughout the match hopped up on the apron with the title. She started screaming stuff at him causing a distraction!

She threw the title in the ring in the hope that I would notice and use it to my advantage. Sadly, I didn’t realise that by the time I had turned round Paul had the title and he was the one who took advantage.

POW!

RIGHT IN THE KISSER!

Down I went for the 3 count.

Gutted.

Ivy jumped in the ring and came in to check up on me. I remember this happening. I remember her asking if I was okay. I remember answering in a confident and positive manner, but what apparently happened was that I slightly grunted “yehhhhh” when asked if I was okay. So I was quite out of it by all accounts! Which can be confirmed by the look in my eyes in the picture below….

All in all I enjoyed this match. Really enjoyed it. It went well, the crowd enjoyed it and although I didn’t come away as champion I like to think I made the correct impressions on the right people.

I would also like to thank Paul for the advice and feedback he gave me before and afterwards, it meant a lot to be able to just sit and listen.

So here we go.

On to the Next one!

Later Nerds x

Photo Credit

Cover Photo – John Mayo Photography 

Featured Photographs – Cheryl Ayrton courtesy of Neil Ayrton Referee & Elite British Wrestling