UK The incredible tale of FutureShock Wrestling as it gears up for 18th anniversary last minute news
PremierLeague-News.Com- A number of wrestlers from the company have gone on to forge successful careers in WWE
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! It was 18 years ago, in front of around 50 spectators, with a bed sheet over the entrance way at Stockport Masonic Guildhall that FutureShock Wrestling made its debut. Those in attendance that night were treated to a stellar main event between British legend Doug Williams and Claudio Castagnoli, who would go on to perform in the WWE as Cesaro. A lot has changed at the Manchester-based wrestling company in that time but the venue will remain the same for their 18th anniversary shows next Sunday (August 14). Billed as being ‘an event so huge it won’t fit into just one show’, the double-header will see every championship defended. Promotor Chris Brooker invited the Manchester Evening News to FutureShock’s training centre in Sheffield Street ahead of the milestone event, as some of the wrestlers on the card put each other through their paces. “When you think about just over the last few years seen so many businesses come and go so to get to the point where our promotion is old enough to take for a pint means a lot to us,” he said. READ MORE : Greater Manchester wrestler, 21, makes history after beating ex-WWE pro “I wasn’t here at the very beginning but I’ve heard stories of the days in 2004 when a group of lads got together in Manchester who wanted to wrestle but had nowhere to do it so they went to Stockport Masonic Guildhall, booked it, and with 45 people with a bed sheet over the entrance they put their first show on and it’s grown from there. Inside the FutureShock Wrestling training centre View gallery “It’s grown alongside the British independent wrestling scene which was still trying to figure out what it was in 2004. Now we’re through our tricky adolescent phase we can combine old school traditional wrestling with the best contemporary wrestling.” FutureShock used to be home to the likes of Zack Gibson and James Drake, who had several high profile matches in WWE’s NXT show as tag team Grizzled Young Veterans. Chris predicts that others from FutureShock could follow suit. He added: “Most of our wrestlers attended as fans first and seeing our guys come through and play a part in their progression and see some of them go over to WWE, AEW, wrestling in Japan, it’s amazing. It’s an immense source of pride to see the people that we’ve rubbed shoulders with go on to show the world just how great we knew they were. Chris Brooker, promoter at FutureShock Wrestling (Image: Kenny Brown | Manchester Evening News) “It’s also a bit surreal to see people we’ve worked with in modest venues to then walk out in arenas and compete in front of tens of thousands of people. It’s quite emotional but really inspiring as well. There used to be a gulf between the grassroots and WWE but now there is that path.” One of the wrestlers looking to keep hold of their gold at the show is FutureShock Women’s Champion Taonga, who is defending her title against Gia Adams in a brutal last woman standing match - where the aim is to keep your opponent on the ground for a count of ten, with weapons such as tables and chairs completely legal. Taonga told the Manchester Evening News: “Gia likes to call herself the hardest hitting lass in the North East but she's changed that to the North because she's coming for me. I'm going to have to pull some tricks out my sleeve because Gia is a very strong competitor but I'm confident that I can take the gold home.” “The women's division in FutureShock is really strong right now and I'm glad that I'm at the top of it.
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Taonga will defend her FutureShock Women's Championship against Gia Adams (Image: Kenny Brown | Manchester Evening News) Taonga decided to take up wrestling amid a sea change within the industry, dubbed the women's revolution, in which female performers started to get more opportunities to showcase their talent. She started training at FutureShock shortly after she moved to Manchester to study Public Relations and Marketing at university. “I thought I might as well give it a go, then I made friends and here I am years later,” the former Manchester Metropolitan University student added. "I started when the whole women's revolution was happening. It was quite inspiring to see because growing up there wasn't much female representation in a strong sense rather than an aesthetic one. So it's been good to see women who aren't the typical be pushed and have a light shone on them.” FutureShock Champion Damon Leigh is one of only two wrestlers on the card who also performed at the first show in 2004 and he will be defending against Australian-born Lachlan Sharpe. Another person who was with the company from the start is wrestler-turned-coach Sam Bailey, who will be facing off against fellow coach Chris Ridgeway. Sam told the M.E.N : “We have a small rivalry, he has his way of teaching, I have my way of mine, and we're going to get into the ring and find out - Maybe not the best coach because it's me - but who the best wrestler is. Chris is one of the best in the country right now.”
Sam Bailey will take on fellow FutureShock coach Chris Ridgeway during the 18th anniversary show (Image: Kenny Brown | Manchester Evening News) Chris Brooker added: “That’s the match that a lot of folk are going to be looking forward to. They’re both coaches here but with very different personalities and philosophies. “They’re both phenomenal wrestlers; Sam is a very clever cunning veteran with a foot very firmly in British traditional wrestling, Chris Ridgeway is a legitimate hard nut with skills from all sorts of martial arts who’s always trying to come up with ways to hurt you. They’ve already fought once in FutureShock and it was incredible.” The 18th anniversary shows will take place next Sunday (August 14). Show one starts at 2pm and show two starts at 6pm. Tickets for both events are priced from £16 and are available from the Ringside World website. Read more of today's top stories here READ NEXT: The two cousins from Wigan who became the world's greatest wrestling tag team Andy Burnham brings out the tunes during Manchester-inspired DJ set at Ancoats bar 'Everyone's talking about this south Manchester restaurant, but when I went the service was all over the place' Oasis-inspired Definitely Maybe Bar to move into former Blind Tiger venue 'Loads of kids crying' as Ryanair flight delayed after man manages to sneak on without a ticket