Breaking Kayfabe: Temper Tantrums & SEPW’S First Birthday by Wayne Tomkins

As Slim Shady once wrote, “Guess who’s back, back again……”

Hiya true believers and welcome to a very late and overdue edition of Breaking Kayfabe. As many of you know, I’ve been in the wars a bit recently. Training injury and some cuts and scrapes at work (I’m a chef) has taken its toll and left me with a bit of pain. So much so that I can’t really type with both hands. And even after practicing the art of one hand/one finger typing, I still wasn’t really in any shape to post the blogs. I had a bit of a hiatus from typing, but luckily I could still write, so that’s what I did. I wrote down pretty much everything I would contain in a typical post (opening, main blog about the session, the close) with the thinking that I would then type my written copy and post! See….contrary to popular belief I do have a brain!

By my reckoning I think it’s been about three weeks since my last post, so what I’m going to do is get the last three weeks worth typed up and post them every other day. Don’t want to throw too much content out there that you miss a post or two.

Let’s get you back to what you came here for! Today’s post isn’t a long one really (I can hear you all breathe a sigh of relief), but it is all about the SEPW Academy’s first birthday and a slight temper tantrum from myself. Enjoy!

One week until Doug Williams comes to visit us again. Hopefully he’ll see the improvement in us all. Actually scratch that, he will see the improvement in us all…..just not me. I’m still sidelined, doctors and wife’s orders. I may have a shot at training next week, it all depends on how well I take it easy.

I’m getting ahead of myself here because we still have today’s lesson to go yet, and it’s quite a biggie. It’s the Academy’s first birthday! One whole year of training fellow like minded wrestling fans into pursuing and encouraging their dream.

I only found out the night before that it was the Academy’s birthday when Head Coach/SEPW owner Matt posted in the Facebook group page. He also cheered me up with the prospect of cake after the session to celebrate! Wrestling training and cake??? Now if that’s not a winning combination then I don’t know what is?!?

Seems the other members of the Posse agreed too as the four of us were talking about cake and what kind it could be. Vanilla, chocolate? To say we were ravenous when we arrived was an understatement!

As usual we were among the first to arrive so we began to set up the ring. I don’t need to tell you really, I’ve told you all enough times now about how to do this, that you could accompany us and help set up. Actually that’s not a bad idea…..Many hands and all that. May run that by management!

The ring (minus your help) was up in about 40 minutes. I was kinda hoping that making the ring we would be treated to a sneaky cake, but alas they were for the end of the session. I didn’t really mind as due to my shoulder/arm injury (dammit!) I didn’t really help at all with the setting up. Was quite funny when Luis (Will Power) commented that I was standing around not doing much and was told by a few others that I couldn’t do much at all. He was very apologetic, but I didn’t mind because he was right. Again I felt like a spare part, a passenger. I know that it’s not my fault, but I was starting to get annoyed with myself. To be blunt I was brooding. All I wanted to do was help out, put the ring up and get involved…..oh and eat cake.

Soon enough it was warm up and cardio time. My role today was to take the photos, videos and pretty much be a cheerleader on the sidelines. Gotta admit, I have the legs for it. Bit hairy but they could pass. Anywaaaaaaay….

The photo at the top of the page isn’t the class jumping for joy that the cake had finally been passed around (honest I’m not obsessing about cake), it was taken during our warm up. Although looking at Luis’s face, you could have been mistaken.

There was hardly a break between the end of the warm up and the cardio, which made a few students groan. Unfortunately I didn’t catch their faces with my camera so they’ll stay anonymous for now. Maybe Matt was working them hard now to make up for that delicious treat at the end of the session? Who knows? All I do know is that an hour into training I’m getting very antsy. Seeing everyone getting fit and having fun was getting to me. More brooding ensued, but I pushed it back down and carried on taking pictures and posting them onto the Academy Facebook page (did I say I’m an admin for that page?) with my famous million dollar Mark Blake smile still in place!

Cardio completed and everyone ran to get a swig of water and some cool air outside before the lesson began in earnest. I made myself useful and chatted to Matt about an idea I had while taking some shots earlier. All will be revealed in the next blog. Oooooo intrigue!

I was also whisked away to do some promotional work for SEPW. Basically Matt and his wife Amy wanted to make a video with all the students to talk about the first year of SEPW and how it’s affected everyone. A promo of sorts! I look forward to seeing the end product soon.

Today’s lesson would be revisiting some spots from the past few weeks, followed by a few matches to finish up the day. First part – Ric Flair Up & Over’s….

You all know the drill. You run into the corner, front flip into the turnbuckle, haul yourself over the top rope and run up the opposite turnbuckle. Easy!…….Well for some it is. I would love to give it a go, but I can’t due to the fact that I would probably make space for my cake (seriously I’m getting hungry at this point) by doing a Droz* (puking) as I flipped into the turnbuckle. Again that self resentment was rising, but I made it disappear as quickly as it arrived. It was getting more difficult though.

All the students were pretty much spot on for this routine, which I expected. I may be biased, but I really do think that as a whole, we catch on pretty quick to what we’re being taught. That and Head Coach Matt’s teaching and encouragement. Unfortunately my camera was messing around and pretty much all the shots were blurred, but I did find one! So here for your viewing pleasure is Adam (Axl Bludfist) in a rather flattering position!

Up and Over’s completed, it was time for something Dan C was looking forward to……Armbars and Armdrags.

It was a fair few weeks since we last did these. I think it’s been a while as Dan C got a little too excited the last time. So if the others have missed doing these, blame him!

Just a quick break in proceedings to shill some social media bits and bobs. I actually have a page on Facebook totally dedicated to this blog. It’s cunningly called “Breaking Kayfabe – A Training Diary”, and you can find it at this link right here. I’d also like to plug mine and South East Professional Wrestling social media too as I have your undivided attention. Click the links, have a gander and if you’re feeling particularly nice, maybe gives us a like and a follow too ?

South East Professional Wrestling website – http://www.sepw.co.uk

South East Professional Wrestling Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SouthEastPro

South East Professional Wrestling Twitter – https://twitter.com/SouthEastPro

My Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/30SomethingTrainee

My Twitter – https://twitter.com/ski101

I’ll now hand you back over to your regularly scheduled reading material….

Luckily this time my trusty camera (and phone camera at this point) didn’t let me down and I caught some great pictures of the students in action. I have to say, I was impressed with Rookie Matt (check out the pic of his form) and obviously Dan C. I say obviously as he’s really good at both taking and giving armdrags. I think he got the practice from when we worked together in the pub/bar trade together, and we used to mess around/practice on quieter nights…….but I digress……Here’s some pics of the guys and gals.

Excuse the pun, but everyone was flying through this lesson. A few people needed a quick refresher from Matt, but were back on flying form (I thank you) soon after. As I was walking around the ring taking shots of the action, that familiar feeling was coming back, with a tinge of jealousy this time too. It was at its worst when Lee O delivered a quite spectacular looking armdrag into an armbar. On the one hand I was proud of him for picking up the minor intricacies of the move real quick, but peeved that I wasn’t participating.

I had a quick internal word with myself about how stupid I was being, and how I was going to do all I can to get fit ready for Doug next Sunday. Although that may be harder than I thought as when students were walking past me they had this urge to give me a loving slap on my bad shoulder, giving me a short sharp shock. I was hoping that they might feel bad and give me their cake later on, but alas that didn’t happen.

Lessons finished for the day, Matt announced there would be some practice matches to finish off the morning’s session. In preparation for the upcoming Hustle & Heart 2, Matt wanted to look at some potential matchups. The matches were as follows:

Jack Voltage v Justin Vincible
Alex Aces v Axl Bludfist
Luke Vega v Chris Castle
MeatHead & Amber v The Dastardly Officials (One Fan Dan & Rookie Matt)
“The Original” Conroy v Will Power!

Now with H&H2 on the horizon, and the potential match up’s that could happen, I’m not going to comment about these matches. Yes they may or may not happen, but on the off chance they do, I don’t want to spoil it for you true believers. What I will do though, is say that I’m very excited for H&H2 from what I saw. I wish I could tell you more, but I won’t. I’ll show you some pics and you can come to your own conclusions, and then I’ll tell you a story about my little tantrum….

That suplex Amber took? Wow! Vega’s back elbow? Stiff!

By this point of the morning I had distanced myself from the rest of the class. I could feel myself get more and more annoyed that I couldn’t do much more than take videos and pictures. Hell, I couldn’t even get involved in the matches, give them advice or even do a bit of announcing as I thought we were short on time. Here is where I threw all my toys out of the pram and acted like my own five year old….

The last practice match of the morning was the “main event” between “The Original” Conroy and the SEPW Heavyweight Champion Will Power. Both men were in the ring and I hit the record button and stood back to watch them go at it. Then I saw that new student Wendy had entered the ring, and began to make introductions. Basically doing my job.

I’m not going to lie, and I’m quite ashamed to say this, I lost my shit. The one thing I could do due to my injury, the thing I do for SEPW and Academy shows, and someone else was doing it. That was it! I packed up my remaining things back into my bag and threw a teenage strop. Now for those that don’t know what that is, it’s when a teenager is so annoyed at something that’s really nothing too bad, and they sulk/bitch and moan to themselves. When asked by others if they’re ok, they mumble that they are and walk off.

All of that? That was me. It’s quite stupid reading this back, seeing how immature I acted. All I can say is that my head wasn’t right that morning. All I wanted to do was help out and join in someway, but I didn’t. I take full responsibility for the way I acted and apologise profusely to each and every one of you students that were there that morning. No excuses. You could probably tell how my mood was in these pictures taken to celebrate SEPW’s first birthday. In the first picture Steven’s (Alex Aces) arm is covering my face so in the second picture I move too far across and look like I’m distancing myself…..

I was that bad that I didn’t even stay for cake or to say goodbye to folk, I just walked out to the car and waited for the rest of the posse.

I’m telling you all this as I need you all to know just how passionate I am about SEPW. Just like every other student that attends, it means the world to me. To be involved from the ground up with my local promotion. To hopefully push on and make SEPW bigger and more successful. To be given the chance to live my wrestling dream with SEPW. It means everything to me. And to be on the sidelines all these weeks, feeling useless, not being able to contribute, along with some other personal issues, it all got too much…..That and I really wanted that damn cake!

Next week will be different. Next week, I’ll have my head screwed on right. Next week……

Closing Time

So there we are. One whole year of South East Professional Wrestling Training Academy in the books. And how do we celebrate? By bringing back world renowned UK veteran Doug Williams for a seminar! If Carlsberg did birthdays huh?!

Join me in a few days time for another blog where I gush about a man I’ve idolised for about 10 years now. If you thought I gushed over The Saint, you ain’t seen nuthin yet!

You’ll also see what my secret conversation with Matt was about (more intrigue!) and maybe, just maybe, I can get back into the ring to show Doug I haven’t regressed and I have picked up a few new tricks since the last time we met.

Thanks again true believers for sticking by me and SEPW. Trust me, big things are happening here and I’m so glad you’re all here with me for the ride!


*Doing a Droz? It’s a bit gross so click here to see what I mean.