Mathew on Monday column: “Cheers and jeers: Reflecting on Wrestling in Hinckley’s Biggest Show of the Year”

Mathew Hulbert | Columnist | 25 April 2022

I remember, as a boy, watching professional wrestling on ITV most Saturday afternoons.

Mathew Hulbert ringside (Image: Vaughan Moore)

Cheering Big Daddy and jeering Giant Haystacks.

In those days it was very clear most of the time who the ‘good’ guys were and who the ‘baddies’ were…or, to use wrestling parlance, the baby faces and the heels.

In 2022, in the big American wrestling federations WWE, AEW etc, it’s not always quite so clear cut.

The fans get used to a certain amount of fluidity between the good, the bad and the stridently indifferent.

Back home in Blighty, however, things tend to be much more clear cut.

And so it was, earlier this month, at Wrestling in Hinckly’s latest outing.

Not just any old WiH show. Oh, no. But, in fact, their certainly not undersold ‘Biggest Show of the Year.’

Myself and Vaughan Moore (also of this parish) were mere feet away from the ring, ready for the action.
And what an evening it was.

Thrills, spills…and that was just my can of coke, which the ring announcer (bless him) came and mopped up in the break after I managed to knock it over with one of my clod-hoppers.

I did worry for a moment that, as a punishment, the self-same ring announcer (I don’t know his name, but he has the best shoes in all of British wrestling in my humble opinion) was going to put me in a match against The Judge.

Now that truly would be a super-heavyweight encounter!

Talking of The Judge, he was defending the prestigious Wrestling in Hinckley championship against everyone’s favourite Dominita in an intergender match-up.

I say everyone’s favourite but, me being as contrary as ever, I decided to back The Judge.

According to Vaughan this made me a ‘heel,’ but I like to think it just means I’m capable of critical thinking and deciding who I want to win any particular contest.

I thought The Judge might acknowledge my support but, alas, that didn’t happen.
In the end, after a hard fought fight, which included the use of a stapler and some lego (yes, you read me right), Dominita was crowned victorious and became the brand new WiH Champion.

I may not have supported her on this particular occasion, but she is clearly a worthy champion and I look forward to her defending the belt in the coming months.

As for The Judge, he’ll be very displeased with this result and will be waning to pass judgement on his next opponents.

I live in hope that, before the end of the year, we’ll see him take on my personal WiH favourite, the sublime Mr Sam Best.

That’d be Best’s biggest challenge but I think he can rise to it.

Sam was also in action at the ‘Biggest Show of the Year,’ in a grudge match against the certainly not safe ‘Mr Health and Safety’ Alex Connors.

Connors is that unpopular here in Hinckley that he literally bought his own family with him to cheer him on.

I can’t possibly confirm or deny reports that a man looking remarkably like me treated these Connors relatives with what I believe in cricketing parlance is known as ‘sledging.’

After Connors badly injured Best at ‘Fear of Falling’ earlier this year (storyline wise…just think ‘Corrie’ or ‘Eastenders’) Sam got his win and his revenge this time around.

In other contests, Kieran Young defeated crowd favourite Steve Valentino (who, before the match, almost ended up in my lap when he lost his footing when he climbed on some empty seats in the row just in front of where I sat…not that I’d have complained too much, as he is seriously fit and smelt great. Hahahaha.)

Jason Joshua retained his strangely named Subjective Championship over Ashley Dunn.

Joshua’s next challenge will come from Mia Cortez, who won a six-person scramble match to become the No.1 contender.

And Joey Scott and Reece Riley got the best of the debuting BDK.

The fans cheered the good guys and girls, jeered the bad guys and a fantastic time was had by all.

Here’s to the next WiH event in June. I can’t wait!

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