August 28, 2012
On tour in Ireland with Dru Onyx
By DRU ONYX - For SLAM! Wrestling
Greetings and salutations! Name's Dru. I've been a worker for a while and been quite blessed to be able to travel the world of wrestling. That being said, I'm here in Ireland currently for my fourth tour of the Emerald Isle, and SLAM! Wrestling asked me to share some of my experiences.
I'm here for a few dates to wrestle but the real reason being here is a quest for higher education. As most workers in the business know, in order to perfect your craft, you have to be a student of the game, constantly learning and improving techniques. I have been training others in the basic fundamentals of professional wrestling for years.
I have a wrestling school in Montreal, Quebec, called the Torture Chamber Pro Wrestling Dojo. In Quebec, we are well-known for our emphasis on chain and submission wrestling. Every Irish tour I bring my top students with me so they can have an opportunity to participate on a international level and also train with the lads at the Fight Factory, the top training facility located in Bray.
The Torture Chamber and Fight Factory relationship has been built on friendship and mutual respect primarily with Paul Tracey and Fergal Devitt, the original owners of the Fight Factory. I first met the dynamic Irish duo in 2004 wrestling for Andre Baker's NWA UK Hammerlock. It was my first tour in the United Kingdom and we battled in tag team action for seven days straight. We really got along and after the tour they invited me to Ireland to wrestle for their promotion and give a wrestling seminar to their boys. A year later I returned the favour and had them come to Canada to do the same. The rest, as they say, is history.
Fast forward to the present, and this year I brought two former students who now assist me at the school: Stew Korvus, who I have brought here on two previous tours -- in fact his first ever match was in Kildare, Ireland; and Shayne Hawke, a well-known Quebec veteran, who is having his first tour here. The fourth is my top student this year, who I felt deserved to be here -- Brien Kevin.
We were set to to participate in three seminars and two matches on the weekend. Stew and Shayne would be in tag team action; Brien would be in a match; and I would be defending the NWA British Commonwealth championship. It would be a seven-day adventure.
We flew from Montreal with KLM and it was a my worst nightmare: sitting near a baby! As I walked to my seat with the extra leg room, I spotted a mother with her baby. In my head I said "Oh no" but by the way she was giving me a sour look, quite possibly I may have said it out loud.
Thinking about all the beer money he would have now, without hesitation he said yes. As we were ready to do the switch, who sits next to him? Another woman with another baby. As he turned to me, I saw the sorrow in his eyes as he fully realized that the deal was off. As I walked back to my seat I saw more trouble ahead -- the mom was using my seat to change the baby's diaper. Hoping there was no spillage of rectal matter on my seat, under my breath I prayed to my pagan gods for guidance. Across from me I saw Brien sitting down by himself with nobody in his aisle ... only to see a couple with their child take their seats.
Defeated by defecation, I went back to my seat and found a seven year old sitting in the middle aisle between me and his mother and little baby sister. I thought, 'Hmmm, maybe this kid could be a buffer.' This brat wouldn't let up the whole ride, just messing and fiddling with anything, even picking up my reading material and then tossing it down in disgust. Then, after falling asleep finally, I was awoken by shots to the ribs.
This terror was dropping more elbows than Greg "The Hammer" Valentine. Secretly I wanted to bite his face and chew the pieces slowly possibly with some fava beans. So between this kid and the triad of babies crying, drooling, burping, breast milk flying and the filling up the diapers, I was in Cabbage Patch Hell.
After six hours of flight we stopped in Amsterdam for a seven-hour layover till our connecting flight to Dublin, Ireland. We went for breakfast at the airport's McDonalds then walked around then went to a spa and got a massage ... which may or may not have had a happy ending. This was also the start of Brien's five-day love affair with diarrhea. Poor dude visited every toilet in the airport. Just before boarding, we found four lawn chair type seats in the waiting lounge and we passed out -- untll some little kid started poking all of us.
We headed off to Martello's, which became our haunt for the next six days. We met Fergal there; it was good to see him. It had been almost six years since I had last seen him at the Inoki Dojo in California. We started to chat a bit as the drinks were being ordered. Brien politely excused himself to get acquainted with the local porcelain. Then the promoter of the Fight Factory, Phil Boyd, arrived. Fergal and Phil eventually had to leave, but before he left Fergal told us that tomorrow we would have our first seminar. Even though we were tired from our travels we closed the bar -- and it was only Monday.
We basically just relaxed until Fergal came to bring us to the Fight Factory. We went over to Casa Del Tracey, where we were greeted by the Lord of the Manor, Paul Tracey. We started chatting like it was old times. Next we headed to the gym where we trained with two young talents: Sammy D and Barry Malone. One half of the Irish tag team champions Danny Butler came by to train as well.
As well, we participated in a private training seminar at the Fight Factory with New Japan's Fergal "Prince" Devitt. The training was informative. We started with functional stretching techniques that strengthen the body core, and then warmed up with different combination of rolls. The emphasis was on the Japanese style of storytelling: ring presence and psychology. Then we worked on implementing chain wrestling in a way that would fit with the Puroresu-style. I enjoyed it. On top of that, it was good to see an old friend again. I have known Fergal for 10 years: We fought over the NWA British Commonwealth championship all over England, Wales, and the U.S.A. He's humble, yet a true warrior with a good spirit and soul.
Paul then invited us back out to the pub and we drank till I found myself back at my hotel lobby without my pants on. -- not a good look. In the background I heard a faint noise of a toilet flushing; Brien was close by
Day off, so we went into Dublin, and did some shopping. We picked some gifts, and I got a nice teddy bear for my two-month niece Aayliah. We came back, ate, and went back to the pub with Paul and the crew. I drank till I couldn’t feel my legs. On a side note, I was mistaken for American rapper and record producer Cee Lo Green on numerous occasions, including three drunk girls on the curb in front of the pub I closed down on Wednesday singing singing "Forget You."
Hooked up with Paul Tracey this evening to do some Catch As Catch Can Wrestling. Paul taught us a wealth of British technical wrestling inspired by Johnny Saint, including reversals, submissions and chain wrestling. It was very educational; Paul is a phenomenal mat technician. Shayne had been impersonating several Montreal indy wrestlers throughout the week. Today he did a ridiculous impersonation promo of a wrestler by the name of Sexxxy Eddy and some of his quirkier road trip habits and personality traits. Later we ended up back at the Martello with Paul, where I drank so much my liver is filing a lawsuit for reckless behaviour and cruel and unusual punishment. As I slowly lost consciousness the last thing I saw was Paul looking down at me, smiling.
Saturday -- Wrestling at the St. Patrick's GAA Hall in Wicklow Town
After the show all the boys headed to the Martello, where the drink didn't stop flowing until the bar had run dry. Justin Shape of Team Mega had us in stitches with his quick wit and outrageous sense of humour. I drank enough to legally murder a small elephant twice over. As I clutched my side and slowly slid off my stool, there was Paul just just smiling, always smiling.
As I sit here in the hotel lobby I am blessed and fortunate to know good people like Paul and Fergal. It was great seeing Phil, Danny, Justin, all the lads we trained with, and all of the people we met at the shows. We learned a lot and I can't wait to go home, kiss my niece and find a sponsor
... God is good.
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