Eas-eh! Eas-eh! Ease-eh!
If you’re anything like us those words will transport you back to Saturday lunchtimes and fish and chips the best part of three decades ago. The obese, white-haired, seemingly-ancient Big Daddy would be taking on his arch nemesis, the corpulent, bearded and genuinely massive Giant Haystacks.
Both men were icons of 80s British television, an era that had just the four TV channels and any prime-time star could expect to earn a lot of money. But while the wrestling may have been fake the egos, the pain, the small-time villainy and the pathos were not.
Track down Pure Dynamite, the gripping autobiography of Britain’s Dynamite Kid if you can bear such a litany of woe – and if you doubt the very real world that wrestlers inhabit. Or, on the flip side, try Mick Foley’s books for an honest, touching and achingly funny portrait of US professional wrestling.
The story of Haystacks and Big Daddy and the phenomenon that was British wrestling in the 80s is a story just begging to be told, so luckily a production that revolves around the two giants comes to Runcorn’s Brindley next week – we’re hoping Haystacks versus Big Daddy marries the best of the comedy and drama of the set-up.
Skip forward 30 years later an there’s an altogether more physical manifestion of British wrestling at the 51st State of Emergency a week later in the opulent surroundings of Renshaw Street’s Grand Central.
Some of the UK’s best young wrestling talent will be on show – including the Baby-Faced Pitbull – to take care of business (that’s wrestling by the way). The psychology may be similar, but the athleticism is in a different world to ITV’s World of Sport.
Wrestling, as is often observed, is soap opera for men. It is all of that – and it is more. For two very different nights out that bridge the world of British wrestling we recommend both.
51st State of Emergency
Grand Central, Renshaw Street
18.30-22.00, Saturday 26 May 2012