2014 – what a year! Both in terms of my wrestling and my personal life. My first full year in wrestling and, because of recent developments, possibly my last!
I’ve met a girl. Yes – a real one! One who has all her senses and is not suffering any mental health issues either!! Amazing, I know. She is not, however, part of the wrestling scene. And she probably wouldn’t be too keen for me to roll around on the mats with scantily clad, beautiful, fit wrestlers! Hence me stepping back from the scene.
But, whatever happens from now on doesn’t detract from 2014 being a truly fantastic year. It started with me breaking out of my Midlands comfort zone and travelling to sessions and ended with my latest attempt at getting Inferno to tap out at least once during a session!
I took on two girls at once, wrestled three different women in consecutive days, had two hour long sessions one after the other on the same day, continued to get a good reaction to this blog and met many people in the scene including legendary wrestlers and loads of top guys with this shared interest.
I enjoyed 30 sessions with 20 different women and loved every second of each and every one of them. So, to celebrate, here is my second (and possibly last) annual review of my wrestling year.
Biggest Inspiration – Pippa L’Vinn
A wrestling legend. Pure and simple. It was an absolute honour to meet her earlier this year when I visited her Wrestling Factory up in Manchester. Not only did I enjoy one of her famous shows, I also had a few sessions there. Despite being busy, Pippa made me feel incredibly welcome and couldn’t do enough to make me feel at home while there (and she did that for everyone who attended). She has a wonderful personality and great outlook on the sport. And I say all this without mentioning how great (and incredibly entertaining!) she is on the mats. Truly fantastic.
Honourable mention: Chanel
The woman who convinced me to take up the sport! Haven’t seen her anywhere near as much as I wanted this year but her company Pole Fighters Walsall continues to grow and she’s moved into new premises. Will visit there before I quit for good. Chanel will always be an inspiration for me!
Blog Star of the Year – Shay Hendrix
For the second year running, it’s Shay Hendrix! In fact, it was her thought provoking, no-holds-barred insight into the abuse she has had to endure, written in 2013, that was still creating a buzz this year! By far the most popular post on this blog – it continues to capture the imagination to this day. Women in the scene empathise with her, men in the scene sympathise. You can read it here: https://michaelcross21.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/dealing-with-abuse/ In addition to this, write ups of my sessions with Shay had people flocking to my blog too! She’s a popular girl is Shay. And it’s easy to see why!
Mr T’s guest blog about his session with Sahara Knight! This is the second most read post on my blog (perhaps I should let others write more often!). He had such a great time and wanted a platform to share his experience. Personally, I think he should start his own blog. But delighted he chose mine on this occasion! Read his write up here: https://michaelcross21.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/mr-t-v-sahara-knight-a-guest-review/
Biggest Disappointment – Idiots!
What is it with some guys in this scene? Instead of just enjoying their sessions and having a great time, they feel the need to spout crap on social media, try to rubbish studios and wrestlers they just so happen to dislike and act like they are the authority on mixed wrestling. The reality is they are a cancer on the sport. Driving people away from Twitter with their poisonous bile. Spreading outrageous rumours and claims about studios. Making countless (crap) jokes at wrestlers’ expenses and then being unable take it when they respond in kind. Trying to dress up what amounts to abuse as fair comment. Playing the race card when people pull them up for their offences. They’ve yet to grasp that the only reason they are tolerated by some companies is because they are paying customers! One of the criticisms I have received is that I am a “lick arse”. Well, I’d rather be an arselicker than an arsehole!
Toughest Opponent – Venom
I’ve had my ass kicked many times in the last two years but nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, compared to the annihilation I suffered at Venom’s hands! What was I thinking taking her on?! For an hour!!!! Incredibly quick, strong and skilful – it was an insult to her ability that I even booked a session!! The final score was 37-0 but I only kept it that low because I tactically engaged her in a bit of chat between points to use up the time! She was a sweetheart, an absolute delight though and I was glad to have experienced a match with such a talent. I look back with some pride that I was able to walk away after the session. Just.
Axa Jay: Just a week after facing Venom, I took on Axa! While Venom is the toughest I’ve ever faced, Axa isn’t that far off! Her scissors, head locks, arm bars etc just bring about a whole lot of pain and suffering. She flashes her gorgeous smile and seems like a cute fluffy girl when you first meet her. Then she gets to work! Four sessions and I’ve yet to keep her score below the 20-point mark!
Minxy Li: Ignore the relatively low score (10-0), Minxy is one of the most powerful girls I’ve faced. Had it not been for her toying with me and practising new moves, she would have got 20 plus easily! She taunted me, laughed at me, made me eat my own knee (!) and inflicted a lot of torture in just one session! Again, like Venom and Axa, a delightful woman but with a whole lot of viciousness behind the smile!
Most Significant Moment – Travelling to Sessions
Seems totally ridiculous now, but it took me eight months into my wrestling career to finally travel outside of the Midlands for a session. Throughout 2013, my matches were all either at Pole Fighters Walsall or TC Wrestling’s Rowley Gym! But I went outside my comfort zone in January when I visited LWS in London and enjoyed a fabulous session with Laken! It opened up a whole range of wrestlers and studios for me and I didn’t look back. Making many visits to the capital, Woking, Watford and Manchester. All just a train ride away! It most certainly broadened my wrestling horizons and opened up a whole host of brilliant wrestlers for me!
Biggest Rivalry – Inferno
Well, it has to be Inferno doesn’t it?! Although, it’s stretching it a little to call it a rivalry as that suggests some close, hard fought matches when in reality she just kicks my butt every time! But we’ve met nine times and she has stubbornly refused to submit even once in all of them – giving me a goal to aim for. The desire to make her scream “I submit!” gets more intense each time I fail! We’ve even started wrestling for a trophy now (a cuddly toy Dolphin called Eunice!) which I hope to win back before I retire!
Favourite Match – Inferno
My most favourite match of the year came against my favourite wrestler – Inferno, of course! We met up in Woking, the day before my birthday and it was a real treat. As a bonus, her partner Kiwi filmed the match so I got to watch her beat me up over and over after! It was outdoors too which just added to the excitement! It was tough as usual. She refused to submit as usual. She adopted dirty tactics as usual (see above pic!). She handed me a beat down as usual. I lost 10-0 but loved every second of it! She is a fabulous girl on and off the mats and this match (like the five others I had against her this year) only cemented her status as my favourite!
v Lisa King
This match was a winner on so many levels. It was actually very competitive as Lisa edged a 7-6 win. But it was also one of the biggest laughs I’ve ever enjoyed. I’ve never laughed so much during a session! Lisa is as funny as she is beautiful and a superb sport who can take the jokey insults as well as dish them out. Minxy Li was present as we battled and she did her bit by cheering Lisa on! Just immense fun from start to finish!
Almost a year after my masked alter ego last did some filmed matches, Honey at LWS asked me to take on lovely Laken for a video. It was the second time I was facing this gorgeous girl and an incredibly fun match to be part of. I had improved as a wrestler compared to my first match against her but the above picture tells it’s own story! But I enjoyed it and am very grateful to Honey for asking me! You can buy it here: http: //www.londonwrestlingstudio.co.uk/product/laken-vs-mike/
Wrestler of the Year – Jade/Kitty
What can I say about this girl? A brilliant wrestler, a beautiful woman and mad as a box of frogs! Prior to my first session, I’d heard a little bit about her and had seen her in one or two videos, but nothing could prepare me for when I met her for a wrestle in April this year. A delightful character and a whole load of fun to be around but with the necessary skills on the mats. I ended up having three sessions in total with Jade this year and they were all packed with much pain (mainly suffered by me!) but also many laughs. Someone who is a real pleasure to interact with and someone who I cannot recommend highly enough. I’m glad I finally met and wrestled this gorgeous grappler in 2014.
So there we have it. A snapshot of a truly memorable and action packed year! Once again, I have to say I’ve loved every single session with every single girl at every single studio! There really was so much more than mentioned here and I’d like to thank everyone I’ve met along the way. As for me, well, who knows?! I’m not totally done with wrestling as I still have unfinished business with Inferno (I will make that stubborn cow tap out, I swear!). And if my personal circumstances change again, I’ll probably back to normal in terms of my sessions.
But if I’m not – it has been a blast. Thanks again of reading and supporting my blog!