The Life of Smith: 2016 – A Year In Review

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Last year proved to be an even busier year than 2015 for yours truly. I found myself mainly wrestling for W3L, but also wrestling for SSW, Showcase Wrestling and Blackridge Wrestling as well. W3L expanded to the point where they were running shows in the North East of England, as well as running shows around the Fife, Lothians and Scottish Borders, as well as the annual Highland tour, SSW kept running their monthly shows in Bathgate as well as their smaller scale academy shows, Showcase Wrestling ran a couple of shows at the start of the year before two more were subject to unfortunate cancellations and Blackridge Wrestling have started running shows periodically throughout the year.

I ended up working a mixture of singles, tag team, multi-man and flag matches throughout 2016. Myself and Johnny Lions formed a tag team known as the ‘Noble Lions’ and we would end up winning the W3L Tag Team titles in September. I even found myself wrestling Callum Lions, the son of Johnny and W3L’s first ever second-generation wrestler in his debut match, where he did very well and busted out a Lion Cutter his father would have been proud of. I had matches with Grado in Grangemouth and with Nathan Reynolds in Elgin that I felt were two of my best performances in a long time and I completed a career milestone by wrestling on my birthday.

photo credit David J Wilson
photo credit David J Wilson

I was relatively busy on the seminar and training side of things, with me going to the Grapple Wrestling gym in Leeds for the first time and learning from British wrestling legend Marty Jones, which was a great experience and I am planning on heading down there again at some point in 2017. I also visited the Reckless Intent Pro Wrestling School in Livingston, where seminars hosted by Paul Tracey and Chic Cullen took place and SSW had veteran Canadian wrestler Joe E Legend and US independent wrestler Jigsaw share their knowledge and wealth of experience. Johnny Moss and Marty Jones also held a weekend camp in Cumbria, which was a great learning experience that made me aware of the graft I need to put in moving forward. All of these were helpful and beneficial towards my own development and I met some new people along the way.

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After three years of being the ‘Notorious Nobleman’, I decided to change a few things up in regards to my appearance and overall presentation. I felt like I was becoming a William Regal tribute act and as much as I love his work, I would rather create something unique and be a one-off than be a carbon copy of another wrestler. The changing up process included growing a beard, which is still going strong to this day and changing my ring jacket. I am a big fan of changing small details over a period of time, whether it be in regards to presentation, in-ring style or character and seeing what works and what does not. Currently I am going down a more aggressive and believable path, rather than the cowardly one that once was.

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Of course, 2016 saw me introduce this blog via OSWtv. This year in review has been mainly me discussing me, but part of the reason I started this blog was to profile companies that I believe do not get as much online coverage as others, as well as the effort that goes into shows and the contribution people make towards this sport. Van breakdowns, ring breakages, nightmare ring jobs up and down flights of stairs, navigating roadworks, rushing from a show in Wick to an evening show in Elgin and the very long journey to and from Portree are just a few of the things that are not often detailed, but experiences I will not forget and ones worth telling once the stress is out of the way and everything is all said and done. 2016 has been and gone and now it’s time to see what 2017 has in store. Good day.

Lucian Maynard Smith
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