Wrestling… YAY! – A Fortnight of Awesome

Rhi NHB GirlsA fortnight ago, I embarked on an adventure. It’s not unusual that I’d take a rather long drive or trip for wrestling – I have ventured to Sydney, South Australia and Canberra for this crazy passion of mine, but this… this was truly out of my comfort zone. Getting on a plane for five hours (my longest plane trip ever), to go and see a pretty awesome sounding wrestling show, was almost crazy to my friends. “You’re going where?! For what again?”

Touching down to Perth, a place two hours behind my home city, and it was by far one of the laid back places I have ever set foot in. After hanging out for a bit and taking in the sights on Friday, I made my way to the show, which was located about 20 minutes from the inner city of Perth.

A while ago, when the show was announced I was drawn to it instantly. Not just because international talent such as Portia Perez, Tomoka Nakagawa and Saraya Knight were scheduled to appear. But because an Australian promotion was taking the time and dedicating the Global Conflict tournament to women and opening the doors to women around the world. This type of feat needed to be respected, celebrated and recognised. Going over to Perth, seemed to be the next logical step for me, plus a great opportunity to see some local talent I had not seen before and a chance to see a personal dream match of mine (that being Kellie Skater v Nikita Naridian).

My friends razzed me up about Saraya Knight for a good fortnight before, to the point where I was scared. Legit, Oh-my-god-she’s-going-to-scream-in-my-face scared. I was a bit disappointed when New Horizons Pro Wrestling announced she was unable to make it to the show, but this was quickly replaced with joy when they announced that Madison Eagles would be taking her place. I mean, who wouldn’t love the opportunity to see talent like Eagles, Skater and Naridian multiple weeks in a row? NHPW announced this week that Saraya will be appearing at their November show so I am considering sucking it up and conquering my fear, travelling to catch her and other women in action.

Portia Perez NHB GirlsNHPW is one of the most relaxed and laid back promotions I have ever had the pleasure of attending. It can always be nerve-racking walking into a new promotion for the first time, but it was pretty awesome to feel at ease straight away. Not to mention, there were a few familiar faces (some people I hadn’t seen in almost ten years!) and this made the experience so much greater! Of course, I checked out the merchandise at the first opportunity (don’t we all do that?) and picked myself up a few DVDs, which I can’t wait to watch next weekend.

There were a few stand out matches for me during the course of the weekend (results of which you can see here and here). I think the opportunity to see Nakagawa and Perez alone made the weekend a highlight but additionally to see Madison v Storm and Skater v Naridian made the trip well worth it. My absolute favourite match from the weekend was Madison Eagles v Portia Perez – naturally the wrestling was great, but the match was funny too! To see the referee confiscate almost a full cutlery drawer from both match participants was hilarious, it was almost never-ending!

They say time flies whilst you are having fun, and waking up early on Sunday morning after both shows were over, I just felt sad. Sad that part of the adventure was over and I had a few days to wait to begin the new one. Flying home from Perth, you spend most of the day in the air with the time difference, so to have the comforts of a small TV screen with gaming console on the plane was a nice little treat.

I was home in Melbourne for three days before I awoke at 5am on Thursday morning and began the next adventure along with the rest of the NHB Girls crew to PWWA. This is grand mecca of Australian women’s wrestling, and I can’t even begin to describe my excitement. I have never driven to Sydney before (it’s almost a nine hour trip!) but we also learned I am by far the worst passenger in the world. By the time we hit the freeway, I was asleep and that’s how I stayed almost the entire way of the drive of the trip. How no photos have surfaced of me snoring my head off, I have no idea.

By the time Saturday arrived, I was buzzing. There was a group of us staying in the hotel room, and everyone awoke to my exclaim of “WRESTLING… YAY!! It’s PWWA day!” I am surprised no one threw a pillow at me or tried to muffle me when I laid down on the couch (I’d not be shocked if they tried!).

Michelle K Hasluck PWWA NHB GirlsThe Roxy is an older classic venue, a former cinema full of leather tiered seating, with a classy 1920’s feel. Stepping inside this venue, taking a deep breath, I felt like I had come home. The place looks as though it’s loaded with history, and walking up the stairs and going through the foyer, you knew that history was going to be made on this night. I’ve spoken a lot about this show around social media, so I don’t think it’s shocking that I enjoyed this show so much.

Skater v Kellyanne English (Naridian) took place again and did not disappoint, as both women have styles that complement each other in such a way it showcases all their learned skills from overseas. Another stand out for me were Michelle K Hasluck, her new ‘crazier’ personality sets her apart from the rest of the girls, with an added bonus of her brilliant singing skills mid-match.

The PWWA show was full of fresh, new faces – a sign that the Australian and New Zealand wrestling community is growing, in a healthy and safe way. More girls are making smart decisions and doing research before forking their money over and getting in the ring to train. This makes me proud and thankful that we do have places like PWWA offering safe avenues for women to train and learn the ropes.

Evie v Madison Eagles has been anticipated for such a long time. Since first winning the PWWA Interim Title Tournament just under a year ago, Evie has had this tag of “Interim” hanging. The meeting with Eagles was inevitable and it did not disappoint. The match in itself was the type of wrestling that I really enjoy. It told a story every step of the way. Beginning with the experienced Eagles ‘showing the ropes’ to Evie, the duo fighting all over the Roxy before Evie took control and ultimately the match. You can click here to read the full results Rhi Evie NHB Girls– I’ve also written up some of my favourite moments from the show and there is also a podcast to listen to!

I am sure those of you that have ever had the pleasure of experiencing weekends like these know what I mean when I say I came away from the fortnight feeling positive, refreshed and re-energised. To be able to enjoy this crazy past time of mine away from home just for a few days, really did have me exclaiming “Wrestling… YAY!!” I am counting down until I can have another weekend just like these ones, it just deepens my passion and fires me up to see more!

Wrestling YAY!! You betcha!

– Rhi Lockwood
– Photos by NHB Girls & Cory Lockwood Photography

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