A GROUP of professional Welsh wrestlers are set to return to their home county of Blaenau Gwent this month, to put on what is described as one of the biggest wrestling events the south Wales valleys has ever seen.
The show named Echoes in the Valley, which will take place at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre on August 23, will feature a number of former WWE stars including Flash Morgan Webster, Wild Boar and Mark Andrews- and will mark the return of a number of local stars who grew up wrestling in make shift rings around Blaenau Gwent.
The home-coming is expected to attract hundreds of people from the local area, as well as many wrestling fans who will be travelling to the venue from all over the country. It comes just weeks after the death of a Blaenau Gwent legend, former wrestler Adrian Street who was known all over the world for his flamboyant energy and style in the ring.
Flash Morgan Webster, 34, is a current Impact World Wrestling tag team champion, as well as the first Welsh person to hold a WWE belt as part of his tag team partnership with Mark Andrews, and says headlining the show in his home town will be a very special experience for him this month.
He said: “We’ve been on shows all over the world, but as cool as it is to wrestle in places like Wembley or the 02 arena, there is something very special about coming back home and wrestling in front of our home community who supported us long before we found success.
“We’re putting on the event to showcase how many world class wrestlers have come from this area in the last few years, as well as giving back to our local fans who can come and see a high profile show right on their doorstep.
“The first independent wrestling show we ever went to growing up took place at the old Ebbw Vale Leisure Centre, so the fact that we get to come back and run such a big show in the new one actually feels quite surreal. It’s going to be an incredible show with some of the biggest wrestlers in Europe taking part, so those in attendance can really expect to see something special on the night.”
Flash, formally known as Gavin Watkins who was born and raised just a few miles away in the town of Brynmawr, says despite the show being run at some of the highest standards of wrestling in the world, it will also be run at affordable prices to allow for as many people as possible to attend.
He added: “Me and Mark Andrews won the Impact tag team belts out in Canada a few months ago so to be defending those here really adds an extra element to this event. It’s a global promotion so to get that signed off by them really shows the elite level you can expect to see here in Ebbw Vale.
“However, it’s still very important to us that we make it affordable to everyone in the area of Blaenau Gwent, which is considered as a low income area. Prices will start at around £10 a ticket which will hopefully give everyone who wants to come and experience an event like this the chance.”
Also competing at the event will be Nantyglo born Wrestler Brendan White. White, 34, is the owner and head- trainer at Newport based wrestling school New Wave Wrestling Academy, and is also known for being part of one of the biggest tag teams in Europe with his partner Danny Jones.
He said: “We started doing this so many years ago now, wrestling in fields and back yards around Blaenau Gwent, that it almost feels full circle to come back home and put a massive show on like this, that would usually be seen in places like Cardiff, Bristol or London.
“The impact such a small area has had on wrestling in the UK, and even across the world is pretty remarkable and to be able to come and show that to people is going to be great. I’ll be competing on the show on the night, along with a number of my students from the academy who are all working hard to make this a night to remember.”