VIDEO: I train to be a wrestler ahead of no holds barred Lilly fundraiser
As someone who grew up watching the likes of Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin tread the canvas, this was something of a secret dream come true.
I can hear the ring announcer now – “Ladies and gentleman, weighing in at 178lbs, standing just under 6ft 1ins, from Manchester England, ‘Wrecking Ball’ Rick Redman” – blame videographer Natalee Hazelwood for the nickname.
I was invited along to attend a TAW training session by Scott Dickins – aka ‘Taylor Made’ – who put me through the paces.
He showed me how to execute body slams, suplexes, back body drops and, of course, how to be thrown around like a soggy rag doll.
He said: “Basically I’ve loved it ever since I was little. When I was younger I used to watch wrestling all the time.
“I gave it a try, I started to enjoy it, and before I knew it they said I was doing well and within about eight months they decided to start putting me on shows.”
Total Action Wrestling was founded by Steve Gibbs about 14 years ago – he fights under the name ‘Samson’.
“When I was younger I used to watch World of Sport with my grandparents, Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks – those guys.
“My parents used to take me to the shows and watch the professionals, and then when I was 18 I really wanted to get into it.”
“We start with the basics, we tell people how to land properly, how to fall properly – we don’t want anyone getting hurt.
“The landing is the most important part, and then from there we develop all the moves. It’s nice and safe.”
Holding her own among the huge male wrestlers was 16-year-old Lucy Biggs, who performed her ‘fall-away slam’ on me with ease.
She said: “I watched wrestling a lot when I was younger and loved it, and thought ‘I could actually do this’, so here I am.
“I like wrestling the guys because I feel really stable in their hands.”
Training with the TAW wrestlers was a lot of fun, and recommend anyone to buy a ticket for Friday’s show – especially since it’s for such a good cause.
It’s at Century House in Peter Newton Pavilion, Luton. Doors open at 7pm.
For tickets, visit www.wegottickets.com/event/199770.
Total Action Wrestling train in Atlas Gym, Wolverton, on Wednesday nights from 7-9pm.
For information about how to get involved, visit www.totalactionwrestling.com.