By DRU ONYX – For SLAM! Wrestling
Greetings and salutations! Name’s Dru. I’ve been a worker for a while and been quite blessed to be able to travel the world of wrestling. That being said, I’m here in Ireland currently for my fourth tour of the Emerald Isle, and SLAM! Wrestling asked me to share some of my experiences.
I’m here for a few dates to wrestle but the real reason being here is a quest for higher education. As most workers in the business know, in order to perfect your craft, you have to be a student of the game, constantly learning and improving techniques. I have been training others in the basic fundamentals of professional wrestling for years.
I have a wrestling school in Montreal, Quebec, called the Torture Chamber Pro Wrestling Dojo. In Quebec, we are well-known for our emphasis on chain and submission wrestling. Every Irish tour I bring my top students with me so they can have an opportunity to participate on a international level and also train with the lads at the Fight Factory, the top training facility located in Bray.
The Torture Chamber and Fight Factory relationship has been built on friendship and mutual respect primarily with Paul Tracey and Fergal Devitt, the original owners of the Fight Factory. I first met the dynamic Irish duo in 2004 wrestling for Andre Baker’s NWA UK Hammerlock. It was my first tour in the United Kingdom and we battled in tag team action for seven days straight. We really got along and after the tour they invited me to Ireland to wrestle for their promotion and give a wrestling seminar to their boys. A year later I returned the favour and had them come to Canada to do the same. The rest, as they say, is history.
Fast forward to the present, and this year I brought two former students who now assist me at the school: Stew Korvus, who I have brought here on two previous tours — in fact his first ever match was in Kildare, Ireland; and Shayne Hawke, a well-known Quebec veteran, who is having his first tour here. The fourth is my top student this year, who I felt deserved to be here — Brien Kevin.
We were set to to participate in three seminars and two matches on the weekend. Stew and Shayne would be in tag team action; Brien would be in a match; and I would be defending the NWA British Commonwealth championship. It would be a seven-day adventure.
We flew from Montreal with KLM and it was a my worst nightmare: sitting near a baby! As I walked to my seat with the extra leg room, I spotted a mother with her baby. In my head I said “Oh no” but by the way she was giving me a sour look, quite possibly I may have said it out loud.
As she was struggling to stop the baby from crying, I quickly formulated a plan: I would switch seats with the loyal and honourable Stew, who I knew would do this for me if the bribe was right. I walked up to his seat and told my brother from another mother that I would pay for all of his Tuesday meals if he would sit next to the screeching baby.
Thinking about all the beer money he would have now, without hesitation he said yes. As we were ready to do the switch, who sits next to him? Another woman with another baby. As he turned to me, I saw the sorrow in his eyes as he fully realized that the deal was off. As I walked back to my seat I saw more trouble ahead — the mom was using my seat to change the baby’s diaper. Hoping there was no spillage of rectal matter on my seat, under my breath I prayed to my pagan gods for guidance. Across from me I saw Brien sitting down by himself with nobody in his aisle … only to see a couple with their child take their seats.
Defeated by defecation, I went back to my seat and found a seven year old sitting in the middle aisle between me and his mother and little baby sister. I thought, ‘Hmmm, maybe this kid could be a buffer.’ This brat wouldn’t let up the whole ride, just messing and fiddling with anything, even picking up my reading material and then tossing it down in disgust. Then, after falling asleep finally, I was awoken by shots to the ribs.
This terror was dropping more elbows than Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. Secretly I wanted to bite his face and chew the pieces slowly possibly with some fava beans. So between this kid and the triad of babies crying, drooling, burping, breast milk flying and the filling up the diapers, I was in Cabbage Patch Hell.
After six hours of flight we stopped in Amsterdam for a seven-hour layover till our connecting flight to Dublin, Ireland. We went for breakfast at the airport’s McDonalds then walked around then went to a spa and got a massage … which may or may not have had a happy ending. This was also the start of Brien’s five-day love affair with diarrhea. Poor dude visited every toilet in the airport. Just before boarding, we found four lawn chair type seats in the waiting lounge and we passed out — untll some little kid started poking all of us.
After arriving in Ireland we changed our money, got on an air coach and travelled 45 minutes from Dublin to Bray. We checked in, settled down and just as we decide to avoid a party the first night we received a phone call from Fergal Devitt to meet us at the pub. Little did I know, it was the beginning of the end.
We headed off to Martello’s, which became our haunt for the next six days. We met Fergal there; it was good to see him. It had been almost six years since I had last seen him at the Inoki Dojo in California. We started to chat a bit as the drinks were being ordered. Brien politely excused himself to get acquainted with the local porcelain. Then the promoter of the Fight Factory, Phil Boyd, arrived. Fergal and Phil eventually had to leave, but before he left Fergal told us that tomorrow we would have our first seminar. Even though we were tired from our travels we closed the bar — and it was only Monday.
We basically just relaxed until Fergal came to bring us to the Fight Factory. We went over to Casa Del Tracey, where we were greeted by the Lord of the Manor, Paul Tracey. We started chatting like it was old times. Next we headed to the gym where we trained with two young talents: Sammy D and Barry Malone. One half of the Irish tag team champions Danny Butler came by to train as well.
As well, we participated in a private training seminar at the Fight Factory with New Japan’s Fergal “Prince” Devitt. The training was informative. We started with functional stretching techniques that strengthen the body core, and then warmed up with different combination of rolls. The emphasis was on the Japanese style of storytelling: ring presence and psychology. Then we worked on implementing chain wrestling in a way that would fit with the Puroresu-style. I enjoyed it. On top of that, it was good to see an old friend again. I have known Fergal for 10 years: We fought over the NWA British Commonwealth championship all over England, Wales, and the U.S.A. He’s humble, yet a true warrior with a good spirit and soul.
Paul then invited us back out to the pub and we drank till I found myself back at my hotel lobby without my pants on. — not a good look. In the background I heard a faint noise of a toilet flushing; Brien was close by.
Trained with Zero 1’s Paul Tracey, who gave us a private seminar at Fight Factory in the art of submission. At my dojo we pride ourselves in submission wrestling and chain wrestling, so this was something we were all looking forward to. We worked on takedowns and various submissions on numerous body parts. As Brien Kevin said, “This seminar was was worth ten courses,” with which I agreed. Then we participated in the advance class for Fight Factory with Paul being the guest trainer. The class consisted of conditioning: hundreds of push ups, crunches, Hindu squats, blow up drills, rolls, working on wrestling sequences, and selling. After a great workout, we got something to eat, and headed back to the pub, where most of us drank till we left there legally blind. The last image I saw was Paul Tracey laughing at me.
Day off, so we went into Dublin, and did some shopping. We picked some gifts, and I got a nice teddy bear for my two-month niece Aayliah. We came back, ate, and went back to the pub with Paul and the crew. I drank till I couldn’t feel my legs. On a side note, I was mistaken for American rapper and record producer Cee Lo Green on numerous occasions, including three drunk girls on the curb in front of the pub I closed down on Wednesday singing singing “Forget You.”
Hooked up with Paul Tracey this evening to do some Catch As Catch Can Wrestling. Paul taught us a wealth of British technical wrestling inspired by Johnny Saint, including reversals, submissions and chain wrestling. It was very educational; Paul is a phenomenal mat technician. Shayne had been impersonating several Montreal indy wrestlers throughout the week. Today he did a ridiculous impersonation promo of a wrestler by the name of Sexxxy Eddy and some of his quirkier road trip habits and personality traits. Later we ended up back at the Martello with Paul, where I drank so much my liver is filing a lawsuit for reckless behaviour and cruel and unusual punishment. As I slowly lost consciousness the last thing I saw was Paul looking down at me, smiling.
Saturday — Wrestling at the St. Patrick’s GAA Hall in Wicklow Town
Brien wrestled Philly The Kid in the opening contest of the Saturday show in Wicklow Town in Wicklow county. They had an exciting, fast paced match that really set the tone for the rest of the evening. Shayne and Stew wrestled Team Mega in a match with a ton of heat. An old lady attempted to enter the ring to fight Shayne and a group of small children swarmed and attacked Stew. One kid even got so worked up he spat on Stew so Stew, frequently mistaken for a Hispanic all week long, did the most professional, honourable thing a worker can do in that situation — he spat right back! Finally, I wrestled Paul Tracey in a hard-hitting match which got over with the crowd, Always a pleasure mixing it up with Paul, as we have very good chemistry in the ring.
After the show all the boys headed to the Martello, where the drink didn’t stop flowing until the bar had run dry. Justin Shape of Team Mega had us in stitches with his quick wit and outrageous sense of humour. I drank enough to legally murder a small elephant twice over. As I clutched my side and slowly slid off my stool, there was Paul just just smiling, always smiling.
Sunday bloody Sunday. Badly hungover, I come to realize that Paul is, in fact, the Devil. We wrestled at the Quarryvale C.C. Clondalkin, in County Dublin, and it was a great crowd once again. I battled Barry Malone in a comedic hardcore match. After the show Phil Boyd took us out for dinner, and then Phil and Paul chilled out with us at the hotel bar. We had a few drinks while watching a soccer game.
As I sit here in the hotel lobby I am blessed and fortunate to know good people like Paul and Fergal. It was great seeing Phil, Danny, Justin, all the lads we trained with, and all of the people we met at the shows. We learned a lot and I can’t wait to go home, kiss my niece and find a sponsor … God is good.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Dru Onyx got back to Montreal safely late Monday night.