Holiday camp shows are a massive part of the culture and the history of British wrestling. If you listen to anyone, from William Regal to Dash Wilder, from Robbie Brookside To Daniel Bryan, from Nathan Cruz to Marty Scurll, talk about their careers you will hear fond stories of holiday camp shows and how much they learned from them. I’ve never stayed at a holiday camp, and as such have never seen one. But this year (and last year I believe) Scarborough council brought Megaslam in to perform a number of shows in the open air theatre, effectively adding it as a venue on the holiday camp circuit.
As luck would have it, one if these dates happened to fall while i was in Scarborough for a family holiday, which gave me an opportunity to check out a “camp show”, and gave me a great family friendly setting to take my 6 year old daughter to a live wrestling show. She doesn’t pay too much attention to it at home, she likes the WWE women and their bright hairstyles, has expressed an interest in womens matches elsewhere, and has been a bit scared at times (she doesn’t like chair shots and is terrified of Marty Scurll’s plague mask!). My wife also came, she isn’t a fan of wrestling really, but did come to a NOAH show in Coventry years ago and had fun.
We arrived quite early and had a coffee while the wrestlers were putting up the ring, the only one I recognised was a young lady who I know know to be called Natalie Sykes who I was fairly sure I’d seen as part of SOBER at RISE Summersesh.
The crowd was decent, i think probably over 60 people there. Not bad for an open air show in overcast conditions threatening rain that hadn’t been well publicised. I believe that some camp shows get upwards of 1000 people, so this might have felt a small audience but I have certainly been in much smaller crowds at wrestling shows.
The show started with the referee coming out. I didn’t catch his name, but I think I have seen him before. He was really good. He got the kids to practice booing and cheering, he interacted with the wrestlers well and had a real dry humour at parts that had me in hysterics (we’ve not brought a bell so ding ding ding).
Joel Redgrave vs Natalie Sykes
First out was Joel Redgrave, he wound the crowd up from the get go walking round and round saying he wouldnt get in till they cheered him. Instant pantomime villian heat. Then out comes Natalie Sykes, who is now my daughter’s favourite wrestler. The match had a lot of comedy, Joel working the pantomine villian angle well. Natalie chopped the hell out of him for a while, there was a couple of clunky bits and then a really good period to finish with some excellent suplexs and combinations. They worked the angles really well, Joel had some dastardly heel tactics and there was some amazingly funny bits. Natalie overcame the odds and was victorious.
Tiger Junior vs Adam Daniels
Tiger Jr came out first with scream of “cheer for me” which got him instant heat, he flipped a kids cap of and wound up the crowd in expert fashion. Then entered Adam, the conquering hero. This match was really good, I really liked both guys. Tiger especially looked crisp in everything he did. They also worked the crowd well and included some hilarious moments. After Adam won Jake arrived followed by Natalie and a tag match main event was set.
Team Sexy vs Natalie Sykes and Adam Daniels
The tag match was great fun, more hilarious spots, more crowd interactions, great referee interplay leading to a superb hot tag, some great move combinations and the faces standing tall at the end.
Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. The matches weren’t as impressive as you might get at a high profile york hall show, but they were exactly right for the situation. As a wrestling fan, I was very entertained, as a non wrestling fan my wife was very entertained and as a child experiencing live wrestling for the first time my daughter was very entertained, and has asked to go again. All in all a sucessfull day.