A surging wall of sound
A retrospective on a moment too special to omit: PROGRESS Chapter 48: Bang the Drum, from Manchester.
“No-one can take on British Strong Style!”
We’re booing Pete Dunne vociferously. He and his stablemates are stalking around the ring, the target of our collective hatred as they’ve ruined match finish after match finish, infuriating everyone in attendance.
…there’s a noise.
Is it coming from the stage? The PA system?
The guys in the ring have noticed it too, and they turn to face the stage.
It must be something.
Must be… someone?
This isn’t music we know. But there’s a lot of music we don’t know just now.
But it’s definitely music… it’s definitely someone…
More than one someone?
There’s a buzz. An energy. The people standing immediately to my right start to move, ever so slightly; first the front row, then the people behind, the people behind then, as the realisation that the night’s not over begins to dawn in earnest.
British Strong Style know it too.
In the seats, necks are craning; eyes are straining.
As the sounds start to form into something more recognisable as music, the crowd starts to make a low hum all of their own.
There are heads moving everywhere, as people look around, in anticipation. Expectation. Friends and partners look at one another, wondering if someone else has the answer, but we’re all in the dark. Figuratively.
More literally, we’re all watching the bright light on the stage, waiting.
There’s a crash, as the music tips over into a heavy guitar riff, and there’s a twitch at the curtain…
…and all at once, a wolf emerges, swiftly followed by his best boy best friend.
My first PROGRESS show contains the long awaited, secret, surprise debut of CCK. Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos take to the top of the stairs in a signature pose recognisable to anyone with more than a passing interest in British Wrestling.
And from my seat in the far corner of the front row, I am swept up completely in an extraordinarily noisy wall of humanity.
The people in the seats to my left leap up into the air, clapping, yelling and screaming in delight. The people standing to my right surge forward like a delighted, excited hoard, curbing their instincts to rush the ring and demonstrate their jubilation.
I can hear nothing but the noise of the people, tainted only by my own heartbeat. The music, still playing, is lost completely in the sound produced by the resonating vocal chords and stamping feet of seven hundred and fifty of the most excited people ever to share a room.
The boys hit the ring, and clear it in a flash, and take to the turnbuckles to acknowledge the wall of sound that greeted them.
And it feels to me like they get it.
They know this was something special for us to experience. They know this was a big deal, a game changer, a surprise and a delight served up in one spectacular package.
And as the crowd starts to shout for the best boys, Brookes and Lykos share a swift embrace in the ring as our collective, chanting words wrap around us all, reminding us that no matter what else might be to come, we’ll always, ALWAYS have this moment.