Mark Haskins vs Axel Dieter Jr
Electric Ballroom, Camden, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
(reviewed 09/27/2017) Not a particularly great match or anything, just a middle-of-the-road grappling-based contest between two guys who are ok at that, I guess, BUT this match features one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen in wrestling. This show is called I Like To Chill Out Here And Shoot Some Dinosaurs, which comes from something Haskins’ young son Jack said last year in a promo in, I think, the build to Chapter 36. Goofy, self-referential show name, but whatever, most promotions do that so it’s not that bad. When Haskins makes his entrance, though, he’s accompanied by three or four-year-old Jack and someone in an inflatable dinosaur costume, and together Haskins and his son shoot the dinosaur with a NERF gun before making their way down to the ring and doing a bunch of poses together in front of a stone-faced German wunderkid. On paper it reads as weird, awkward thing but in execution it is so so so so so adorable. For a good long while, Haskins has been one of my favorite guys in the entire BritWres scene because he’s far less interested in self-aware, masturbatory antics and more about clean, simple wrestling. What’s more, he’s just a straight-laced, no-nonsense babyface and the only way to get that across more than he already has is to carry his adorable son to the ring over his shoulder and pose with him. It’s a genuine moment of tenderness and togetherness between a man and his child and that is something so very lacking in professional wrestling these days. I don’t mean specifically guys interacting with their children, but rather a sweet, honest, wholesome moment between people who care about each other, something like Randy Savage proposing to Miss Elizabeth, something like Jimmy Jacobs and Lacey reuniting, something like Genichiro Tenryu meeting with Stan Hansen and Terry Funk before he retires. I’m so glad to see something like that here in a scene so devoid of that earnestness.