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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Holy Shit!

It was that time of year again - WWE was in town, and lately that has meant a couple of things. Number one: Overly excited nights at the O2 arena with Mrs. Ricardo watching people beat the tar out of each other in variously entertaining and impressive ways. Number two: Getting my annual hang out with British wrestling legend and pal William Regal.

This year he was doing one of his spoken word shows in London and had asked me to open for him, which I am always very happy and honoured to do. One of the lovely things about being "a turn", as regal would call it, is the ability to work anywhere. God knows I've done that - from the Palladium, to the lobby of a Tescos, I've been booked to play everywhere you could imagine, and to every audience. Very few audiences, however, are as great as a wrestling crowd.

Conventional wisdom states that in a basic wrestling match there are, in fact, four, equally important, participants - two wrestlers, the referee, and the crowd. They all talk to each other, and as a group, decide how the match goes. Wrestling audiences, when they're on form, can exhibit an amazing kind of group wit (As an example: in one of the shows at the O2 this year, when one of the grapplers was injured and was taken out on a stretcher, the entire audience started chanting "NHS! NHS!", which was, frankly, a hoot).

What this means is, that a wrestling audience realises that they can play with the performer. This isn't heckling - their goal isn't to stop the show, or steal the attention for themselves, but rather to add to it. So, during my spot, when I chastised an audience member for being too vague, the whole crowd started chanting "BE SPECIFIC! BE SPECIFIC!" at him, before dissolving into laughter. And then, when I put up one of my signature tricks, this happened. Which was great.

Anyway - thanks to everyone who came to see the great Mr. Regal - I hope you liked me too! If you did, please do come and see my one man show "Showman", I'm in Brighton, Birmingham, Gateshead, London and Yorkshire in the next few weeks - full details at the bottom of this post. Jaws dropped, GuaranDAMNteed. ;)

In the meantime, a couple of words about the WWE shows.. Notably enjoyable, these days, is watching current WWE womens division goth badass Paige, who I first met when she was a tiny child running around backstage while I performed in an odd little comedy show with her mother, the equally feared and cool Saraya. Paige has both her mothers good looks and ferocity, and it's great watching her do so amazingly well on the big stage. It was also a pleasure to watch NXT star Neville do his stuff in his home country. I'm a huge NXT fan, and remember watching Neville, when he had a different name, in a couple of British shows years ago. I think NXT has reinvigorated a lot of slightly jaded fans love of wrestling - that's certainly a little true for me, and it's amazing to see the talent that it's both attracting and developing.

Here's a few things my camera saw over the weekend...

And just before you go...

Here are the next few dates - click each one to be taken to the relevant info and booking page...


And here's what you can expect from the show...

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