The Good Old Days - pt 1 | Welcome to, the VERY Best in Catch Wrestling!
Mick Fage with Black Eddie
Mick Fage with Black Eddie

The Good Old Days - pt 1

Mick Fage
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In late August this year i was booked to wrestle on a old time fairgrond Boxing and Wrestling Booth in the South East of England. The only one left in the country... had been over 100 at one time. This one was brought out once a year for this event. Widely recognised as the world's leading steam and vintage preservation event. The Boxing and Wrestling Booth displayed the names and faces of boxers Max Schmeling, Joe Louis, Sonny Liston, Cassius Clay. Muhammad Ali appeared on the front of this show in 1977 when on tour of the UK. Boxers Tommy Farr, The Turpin brothers and wrestler Pat Roach had once fought on the show.

In its heyday a troupe of boxers and wrestlers would line up at the front of the booth to take on all comers. Not today, I was to stand alone to except any challenges from all comers for all in wrestling. I was warming up in the ring and a crowd had started to gather at the front watching me going through my warm up routine.

I was now standing on the front faceing the crowd which was a large size. The spieler (i.e., announcer or "barker") for the three days was an ex-fairground booth wrestler named Black Eddie. He had to work hard to get people in the ring to fight. In the old days they used to fight for money to put food on the table for there families.

Some would get in the ring with trained fighters knowing they would get hurt, they where that desperate for the money. Nowadays they will get in the ring for different reasons, usually just for kicks.

It was not easy to get them to fight. Some travellers stepped up for the boxing. Eddie pointed at me and said `Anyone for all-in wrestling with this man? three two minute rounds,he has traveled the country with promoters Dale Martin`.

Some of the crowd where getting onto me but no challenges for the wrestling. Some more young travelers  for boxing. It was coming to the end of the night and i had been standing on the front for a few hours. Again Eddie said `Anyone for all in wrestling with this man,three rounds thats all`.

A gang of young lads where getting excited at the front of the crowd. One shouted out, `go on Bobby`. A young lad stepped forward smiling and pointing at me. Eddie said `Will you wrestle this man?` He said `Yes`.

I would say he was in his 20s and a bit cocky with it. His mate followed him up onto the stage. Eddie said to him `What do you want?`. He said, `I am his coach`. The crowd laughed.

Eddie said `Alright` and let him up onto the stage. The lad I was to wrestle kept coming up to me and saying `Whats this all about then, you're taking this seriously, aren't you? Smile, it's only a laugh`.

They all went inside to watch the boxing. When it was over Eddie called the wrestlers to the ring. I was watching on the front to see if he would get in the ring. He had been drinking which gave him some courage. He pointed at me and then the ring and shouted out `come on`. This annoyed me and as I made my way through the crowd i thought to myself `who the hell does he think he is`.

He took his shirt of and started jumping around the ring. At least he wasnt smiling anymore. I got into to ring and took my sweat shirt of.His mate shouted out loud `hes just a fat old man`. The crowd laughed. More verbal abuse followed. I was a fair bit heavy than he was.We where both in our corners when the bell went for the first round.

I came straight out and he followed. He then started moveing around the ring. When I got close he kept jabbing in the face with his fingers. I went for a shoot in low but missed. I got a hold of him and he tried to hook my leg and trip me up.

I got him onto to the ropes and then tried to put him through the ropes.But he was holding on tight.I then backed of letting him up to show to crowd i was playing fair.By the look on his face he wasnt to happy at my attempt at putting him through the ropes.

A few hundred packed tight around the ring where quite.They new this was turning into a real fight and someone could get hurt.The bell went to end the round. I had enough of him jabbing me in the face and decided to finish it.

The bell went for the second round and got him in a headlock and took him down to the floor. The crowd groaned sensing the beginning of the end. He grabbed my beard and put his fingers into my mouth. I pushed his arm down and tried to pass it under my knee for a armlock. But he pulled his arm away. I had a better grip on the headlock.

The beginning of the end...
The beginning of the end...

He was hanging on for ages his mates shouted `fight back`. But he had enough and tapped out. I held on a bit longer. The ref tapped me to let go. Not many cheers for my win.

Most wanted to see me get beat. We shook hands, he took it well and so did his mates. Which is not always the case. Some are bad losers and want to have the last word on the matter.

His mate said `are you going to have another go, Bobby?` He said `No, not now I know what it's all about`. He was a game lad.

To be continued -