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Is A Death Match Ever OK At A Kid-Friendly Show?

Death Match

Is a Death Match ever ok at a familey friendly show? Steve Swift aka @worldwearyguy investigates.

For me, CCW is usually Coastal Championship Wrestling, but now there’s another CCW; Colliery Championship Wrestling. It’s a mining themed wrestling promotion based in the Durham area and that might have been all we needed or wanted to know until a match on the 29th of April which made the national news; as The Independent reported;

‘Police are investigating after a Conservative Club in the northeast of England hosted a wrestling “death match” in which two men beat each other with glass and a garden strimmer in front of a shocked audience that included children.’

What?

Yes, a Death Match at New Seaham Conservative Club, which looks to have a wide variety of entertainment on offer and has good reviews regarding how well the talent have been treated.

Not sure Colliery Championship Wrestling will be back.

You Get What’s Advertised, Don’t You?

Well, this is the main issue. Not the Death Match violence. Not even the setting. The marketing.

Because the 80 or so who watched, including children, apparently didn’t know there was going to be a Death Match. The Guardian reported that cheap family tickets were offered and;

‘The posters made no mention that the show would include a so-called “death match”, which involves weapons.’

And although the promoter James Barras told the BBC that things had ‘escalated’, going on to point out;

‘Things can sometimes not go to plan. Obviously there was a little bit more that went down…’

Why would you bring a Strimmer and light tubes to the show if you weren’t expecting to use them? It was the main event and Barrass claimed that the match between Ronnie Thatcher and Blizzard had brought weapons into play without his knowledge.

Wrestling Has Enough Trouble Without This Death Match Debacle

It’s on a fantastic upswing again and yet it’s often regarded as;

A: Juvenile

B: Silly

We know better, but having parents shielding their children’s faces from flying glass, which reports have alleged happened, just doesn’t help to legitimise wrestling, to make it, you know, serious. Simon Miller put it well;

And that’s a real issue. The appropriateness of this. A Death Match requires real skills. They need pacing, spot agreement and an understanding of where those spots should be placed. They also require innovation, but this was not the innovation they need. I can only watch a couple of death matches on a card before I’m numb and bored, but I understand they are popular and somewhat of an art form.

Cradle of Filth are not my cup of tea either, but I admire their sonic attack and loads like them – wouldn’t take your small kids to see them though, would you?

The Law Are Now Involved

The Police are investigating and it would be inappropriate to speculate on their work. I will just say though that there are Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading regulations which include a section on leaving out important information.

So this one isn’t over yet by a long way.

Was It Just A Marketing Issue?

Yes and no. The advertising didn’t appear to mention a Death Match. So is this the wrestler’s fault? No, the promoter has an obligation here to check what is happening, to check the wrestlers and to check in their bloody bags for a strimmer!

That headline? The answer is no. Of course not.

One word. Tawdry. I’ll defend wrestling until my dying breath but you know what? I’m getting tired.

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