For someone who doesn't particularly get the appeal of wrestling, I seem to have accrued a lot of friends that do. That's why last October I was a little bit reluctant to go along to the first Rock and Wrestle event at the Ironworks. Why would I want to take pictures of sweaty men rubbing up against each other? Surely there are plenty of niche websites that cater to that kind of thing?*
I convinced myself to go with the intention of photographing my friends in Toby Michaels Rolling Damned, getting the bare minumum shots from the actual bouts and bailing out as soon as possible. Landed up staying for the whole event, and thoroughly enjoyed myself in the process. So when it was announced there was to be a second one... well, I knew I'd kick myself if I didn't go!
A decent crowd came along to the first event, but Rock and Wrestle 2 was jam-packed, and I suspect even sold out. I'm not entirely sure if it was word-of-mouth from last time, or if it had anything to do with what appears to be a very sudden rise in the popularity of smaller, independent wrestling companies. Certainly the likes of Premier British Wrestling in particular seem to be riding high on some very good publicity from the likes of VICE and Auntie Beeb at the moment, and it doesn't look like the momentum is slowing down.
All of this is a good thing, because it makes the odds of another one coming round all that much better. It makes the odds of me getting to shoot the show higher, and that makes me a happy photographer.
More photos from my Friday night:
* I suggest you don't Google for it.