As if Beergate wasn’t enough, Durham police are now having to investigate so-called ‘death wrestling’ on licensed premises owned by the Conservative Party in Seaham Harbour. On 29 April an audience watched performers covered in blood and attacking each other with weapons such as a garden strimmer, lighting tubes and beer glasses.
The show even offered discounted family tickets! Families watched as wrestlers smashed fluorescent glass lighting tubes on one another. In a video of the event, children can be heard.
The managing director of The Colliery Championship Wrestling (CCW), James Barrass, apologised but said the audience “had hugely enjoyed it”.
The 35-year-old promoter claimed the match, between wrestlers Ronnie Thatcher and Blizzard had “escalated a tad”. Apparently the use of weapons happened without his prior knowledge. He said:
“Things can sometimes not go to plan. Obviously there was a little bit more that went down. I spoke to the two guys afterwards. We had discussions and obviously that will not be happening again.”
He described the event as not being “everyone’s cup of tea”, and added:
“We have apologised but how many times do you say sorry? How many times do you have to be penalised in life?”
Teesside-based extreme wrestling twitter commentator ‘Benji’ tweeted about the event. He acknowledged that ‘death matches’ were often popular but were not appropriate for children. Understatement of the year!
“I’ve never seen this in my time in wrestling…I’ve been involved for seven years now and I’ve never seen this type of ultra-violence in front of a family audience. If I see a family-friendly show advertised, I’m going in good faith that my kids will be seeing what they see on TV.”
Benji, who is a Stockton retired cage fighter, told Radio Tees:
“We’ve seen the packs of light tubes under the ring and the strimmer. The vast number of light tubes they had in that show was ridiculous. If I was a promoter and someone brought a strimmer to a show I would know about it. I’ve worked for 20 companies in the UK and this is something that doesn’t get past promotions.”
Durham Police investigation of ‘death match’
A Durham Constabulary spokesperson said:
“We are working with Durham County Council’s licensing team after a number of complaints were received by the local authority in relation to the event at Seaham Conservative Club on 29 April. Enquiries are ongoing.”
Seaham Conservative Club declined to comment as did the Regional Conservative Party, but perhaps the last word can be left to Wrestler Benji.
On his twitter feed he summed up the brouhaha thus:
“Please don’t punish local Conservative Tag Teams for the mistakes made in Westminster! Bring class to the mass book @ZeoKnox and @WrestlerBenji today!”