Editorial Columns

Five Things We Learned From Hello Wembley

48 hours after their huge show, Peter Barnes gives us five things he learned from PROGRESS Wrestling’s huge show at Wembley Arena, ‘Hello Wembley’.

So, Wembley was a bit good wasn’t it?

I ruddy loved the show and made lots of new friends and I just felt overjoyed to be part of such a huge event. Here’s 5 things I learnt from Chapter 76: Hello Wembley.

 

1. Tables don’t break

I’ll be honest here, I felt so sorry for Mandrews and Eddie, having their blood feud overshadowed by 3 unbreakable tables and one that broke under extreme duress. But not before the table leg had gone through the ring canvas. There was even a chant that broke out at one point declaring: table’s our champion. If you have any pride in your own collapsible table that is seemingly indestructible, then you need to find out where Progress go for the tables as those won’t break for love nor money. At the time Mark Andrews was furious but I’m sure over time he’ll be able to look back and laugh at some aspects of the match. As a whole, the match was really good and brutal but it did was more of a ladders and chairs match than anything, and if there isn’t a chapter called: I’m going to break a table if it kills me then Jim, Jon and Glen are missing a trick.

 

2. When graphics don’t work it can be distracting.

Remember during the Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler match at extreme rules and how the clock was the crowd’s primary concern. Oh how we mocked them!

Boy did we learn. During the second match, the graphics alongside the live screen showed Matt Riddle against Millie Mckenzie and Toni Storm. When this was fixed, we cheered but compared to the flow of the match, the cheer was drastically juxtaposed. There was also a slight problem during the Tag team match with only 6 teams being shown on the match graphic due to aspect ratios. These issues got fixed on the fly and part of me feels bad for both noticing and then becoming almost transfixed by it. Progress had clearly spent a lot of money to enhance the experience for us fans, and we should be appreciative of the effort, plus it was the first time they had done something like this, so there was bound to be a couple of teething issues.

 

3. Doug Williams is a legend, the likes of which will never be seen again.

Too often do the words trailblazer or legend get bandied about and applied to all and sundry, but in this case it is well and truly deserved. Doug Williams has been a part of the British wrestling scene for years. Through thick and thin, for better and for worse, he has shown staunch commitment and there’s not many wrestlers who haven’t learnt at least something from him, whether it be how to structure a match or how to take a clothesline over the top rope, his influence pervades the scene and it’s hard to think of who the next doyen will be.

 

4.  Being a ‘hot’ crowd is tiring if the show lasts 5 hours.

Progress fans are known to be particularly vociferous in their support, especially when you consider that we go by tag of Ultras – a term normally used to mean extremely partisan football fans. Pretty much every wrestler has a chant about them, and if they don’t then one is very quickly made. If they do, then it’s probably more than one chant, for example Zack Gibson, who has more chants than David Starr has nicknames (for those who don’t know that’s a lot). I can’t help but feel that as a fan, I have a lot to learn about pacing myself, running rapidly out of voice by about the 3rd hour and it’s yet to return as I’m writing this around 24 hours after the main event.

 

5. I’m astounded that Jimmy and Paul were able to walk after their match.

The question was asked before the show of “what can they get away with at Wembley though?”. The answer: a veritable tonne of brutal spots. A frying pan to the head hard enough to cut a forehead, a man going through a fairly solid wooden door and not how we would by opening it either.

There was barbed wire, there were light tubes, ohhh there were light tubes and so much more to this match. Robbo had rivers of red, rushing rapidly down his back. This match only just stopped short of actual murder.

 

Bonus: Matty can’t throw streamers for crap!

From a distance of 10 metres from the ring, Matty’s throw got to within 8 rows of the ring but the streamer had no real danger of even seeing a wrestler.

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