Cops probe Tory club ‘death match’ wrestling show involving garden strimmer

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A "family" wrestling event descended into a horror show with young audience members forced to endure a bloody “death match” involving a garden strimmer amongst other weapons.

The shocking scenes took place at the Conservative Club in Seaham, County Durham, on April 29 when the Colliery Championship Wrestling event took a dark turn.

Photos from the event, headlined by British wrestlers Ronnie Thatcher and Blizzard, appear to show the pair covered in blood.

The pair reportedly made use of wood, glass lighting tubes and even a garden strimmer – with one dramatic photo appearing to show Blizzard clutching the gardening item menacingly above Ronnie Thatcher's head.

Another photo shows a bloody Thatcher smashing glass over Blizzard's back.

Around 80 people – including many young families – were in attendance at the event, and the organiser has since apologised for the scenes.

James Barrass. of Colliery Championship Wrestling, issued an apology but said the crowd had enjoyed it.

“Things can sometimes not go to plan," he said. "I spoke to the two guys afterwards., we had discussions and obviously that will not be happening again.

“We have apologised but how many times do you say sorry? How many times do you have to be penalised in life?

“They got looked after behind the scenes – a couple of scratches here and there.

“Blizzard was out having breakfast with his girlfriend the very next day. He said getting a new tattoo hurt him more."

The match was advertised in advance as a “three out of five doors match”.

The posters also advertise family ticket prices of two adults and two children for £30.

Local police are now investigating the incident after video footage of the show went viral on social media thanks to fellow wrestler Benji, who said that the event was "not suitable for families".

"I've never seen this in my time in wrestling," he said. "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."

A Durham Constabulary spokesman said: "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 April 29.

“Inquiries are ongoing.”

Hardcore wrestling was popularised in the 1990s through the Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion in the United States – but has largely been frowned up by mainstream fans in recent years, apart from in specific promotions.

British wrestling in the UK is a largely unregulated industry, but an All Party Parliamentary Group was set up two years ago to deal with this.

It launched after the Speaking Out scandal started in June 2020, which was wrestling's version of Me Too.

A report was produced with several recommendations on how to move British wrestling forward.

Co-chair Alex Davies-Jones, the Labour MP for Pontypridd & Taff Ely told us: “The All Party Parliamentary Group is made up of cross-party MPs who have a genuine love of the industry and want to see it thrive and change for the better.

“We always knew progress wouldn’t be achieved overnight, and it wouldn’t be easy to bring together so many different components from promotions, training schools, wrestlers and fans but we are making progress.

“I’m proud that we’ve been able to provide some confidence and support to the industry at a time when it has needed it most.

“The APPG has sought to legitimise the industry to wider society and to provide a platform for those seeking to promote and instigate change from within.

“We’ll continue to do all we can to raise the profile of British wrestling, support the industry and promote what we know to be a brilliant, British institution both here in the UK and abroad.”

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