Gallery: Wrestlers wow a packed Wolves crowd

A sales agent, fast food server and office worker by day – throat throttling, power slamming crowd pleasers by night.

Fourteen wrestlers went head-to-head in the ring at an Alternative Wrestling World (AWW) event at the Wulfrun Hall in Wolverhampton.

Around 300 people cheered on the lycra-clad wrestlers as they performed a range of fighting moves and stunts.

The amateur wrestlers are leading a resurgence in the British sport with aims to regain the popularity of the1970s when Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks ruled the televised wrestling circuit.

Tu Kay, real name Kane Thomas, is studying sports science at Halesowen College as well as working at Teamsport go-karting in Oldbury and KFC.

During the event on Sunday night he won his bout, before shaking his opponent’s hand and receiving an applause from the crowd. He said: “I think every wrestler wants to go further in the sport, but you have to keep a modest perspective, keep the day job and work hard and hope for the best.”

Mr Thomas, aged 22, of Grange Road in Dudley, has been wrestling at AWW for two years and trains at its academy on the Hillcrest Business Park in Cradley.

He suffered a torn ligament during a recent match, but has since regained fitness to return to the ring.

He said: “Yes, it hurts – but I’ve been lucky so far not to get any significant injury.” Also on the billing was Daniel Valentine, a cheeky character acted out by Daniel Pountney, a sales agent who works in Kidderminster. He lost to The Judge.

The 24-year-old former King Charles I School student from Pensnett said: “This was something from a young age I always wanted to do having watched wrestling as a child.  My friends and family were first a bit sceptical, but when they saw me they were impressed.”

Promoter and wrestler Kevin O’Neil has been involved in the business for 17 years. The 37-year-old, from Hillcrest in Dudley, is an office worker for engineering firm Eriks UK in Halesowen.

He said: “The quality of wrestling in this country is of such a good standard we are seeing the Americans coming here to train. The sport in this country has changed over the years but it still struggles to get audiences after it was taken off the television.

“But we’re doing well. It is all about seeing the crown entertained.”

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