What do you get when you team Rocky Steele with the Boston Brawler and a host of other mean looking guys?
Introducing the live American Wrestling Show and meet me, its newest fan!
I wasn’t sure what to expect as I found my way to my seat at Burnley’s Mechanics Theatre amid the crowds of excited youngters waving foam fingers and donning bandanas and masks. I’m more used to seeing light opera and musicals at this venue so this was a first for me. And what a show it turned out to be.
As soon as Queen’s We Will Rock You started blasting out the audience were cheering and stamping their feet And the cheering rose to a crescendo when Road Warrior bounced into the purpose built ring on the stage, growling and snarling at us. After posing for a time his arch enemy, Rocky Steele the Lancashire Lion, appeared and the crowd went wild as the pair battled it out in the ring, throwing each round like ragdolls, half throttling each other, flipping each other over like pancakes and then bouncing off the rope sides to avoid contact wth each other.
There were four other matches involving other wrestlers such as the seven foot and 27 stone Giant Goliath, Japan’s Tokyo Joe, the Boston Brawler, Josh Turbo and the Masked Destroyers.
It took me back to the Saturday afternoons of my childhood, tuning in to watch the wrestling on TV. My dad was a huge fan and he would watch it while lying on the floor practically rolling with the punches he was so involved. Much like the hordes of little old ladies who filled the audiences then and were not averse to swinging their handbags at the “baddies.’’
And 30 plus years later the sport is very much the same with us all cheering the goodies and giving the thumbs down to the bad guys. And the MC for the evening was the legendary Michael James, a former professional wrestler who is celebrating 50 years in the business.
In the final rumble, Rocky Steele proved to the victor and the hero of the night. There is a myth around wrestling that it is staged but let me tell you, the boys in that ring all had the stamina, strength, agility and grace of any dancer or gymnast I have seen.
My son Robbie (nine) was in his element, he loved the show and is already asking when we can go again. So well done Rocky and Co for bringing some good old fashioned entertainment to Burnley. See you next time you’re in town!