An unadvertised deathmatch at a British independent family-friendly wrestling show has led to outrage on social media, with an investigation being carried out by the Metropolitan Police.
Colliery Championship Wrestling, an independent wrestling promotion based in County Durham, England, has received considerable negative social media coverage following its 29 April event after it was uncovered they’d promoted a deathmatch. This came unadvertised in front of a largely family-friendly audience, with many children in attendance.
The match, which was fought between Ronnie Thatcher and the eventual winner Blizzard, saw the use of garden strimmers and glass. The roughly 80 fans in the crowd watched on in horror as the competitors had glass light tubes smashed over their bodies.
Taking place at the Seaham Conservative Club, it’s now been revealed that the incident is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police. A Durham Constabulary spokeswoman confirmed they were working alongside the Durham County Council (h/t BBC):
“We are working with Durham County Council’s licensing team after a number of complaints were received by the local authority in relation to an event at Seaham Conservative Club on 29 April. Inquiries are ongoing.”
Benji, a Teeside-based independent wrestler, brought the incident to light on social media, sharing a few clips from the match. One of those showed a mother shielding her child’s face from the glass shrapnel. He expressed his disgust at the incident for blatantly exposing children to such a violent aspect of wrestling:
“I’ve never seen this in my time in wrestling. I’ve been involved for seven years and I’ve never seen this type of ultra-violence in front of a family audience. If I see a family-friendly show advertised, I’m going in good faith that my child will be seeing what they see on TV.”
I don't like posting stuff like this but….
please don't do death matches on a family friendly show.
There's a time and place and this is definitely not it.
Families and Venues don't see company names they just see "The Wrestling" this isn't what we need. pic.twitter.com/uzc16g2QCx
— Benji 🇬🇧 (@WrestlerBenji) May 3, 2022
The use of deathmatches in professional wrestling remains a controversial topic. While promotions such as Combat Zone Wrestling have thrived when using more extreme natures as a driving point behind their businesses, the likes of Eric Bischoff aren’t so keen on it. The WWE Hall of Famer believes they’re “bad for the industry“, despite their proven success with certain crowds.
All Elite Wrestling promoted a successful deathmatch between Chris Jericho and deathmatch legend Nick Gage on a July 2021 episode of Dynamite.