By Robbie Heart
Tour Downunder 2023 – Riot City Wrestling
Having played in a lot of local bands in Adelaide throughout the mid 2000’s, one thing that I was always fond of was playing shows in rural areas throughout South Australia. I regularly found myself playing in towns such as Mount Gambier, Whyalla and throughout the Riverland. I now call Whyalla home, which is a town about 4 hours outside of Adelaide.
I was contacted by a wrestler from Riot City Wrestling named Downunder who asked me if I was keen to join a two day tour with Riot City Wrestling in Cummins and Tumby Bay, about 2 hours further inland towards Port Lincoln from Whyalla and about 6 hours outside of Adelaide.
Having appeared at Riot City Wrestling just a couple months earlier after a 16 year absence I was very interested and so on Saturday October 8th I packed my gear and headed off to the Cummins Show to see what it was all about.
Arriving shortly after lunch I was told I would be facing Redshaw in about an hour, all good I thought. The first of 4 shows that day had started so I went and took in the vibe, I love country towns, there is something truly authentic about them and the fans were loving what they saw. I was ready to get out there.
Redshaw and I had a nice little match, plying the heel is always fun, it’s pretty easy to get heat when you tell the locals their town sucks haha. I thought nothing of it when I was scheduled to take on Cadie Tre as a face an hour later. It seems the Cummins faithful had longer memories than I realised and they didn’t take kindly to the comments made by yours truly only an hour earlier. I pleaded with the young ones that I had seen the light, that Cummins was a totally rocking town, I might even move there! No good, there were no convincing the young Cummins faithful, in any case Cadie and I had a ripper match and I got to show the fans the biggest top rop splash in the world today. Happy faces all round. We had fifteen minutes to rest before the final show of the day, an all in rumble for the opportunity to face RCW champion Matt Hayter the following day in Tumby Bay. Those who were up for it, including yours truly jumped in and went at it and 10 minutes later I found myself the winner, happy days. I was met with a surprise super kick from a masked wrestler who turned out to be none other than Matt Hayter! Well played. The scene was set for an all out grudge match for the Riot City Wrestling Championship in Tumby Bay the following day, but first to drink some beer and lots of it!
I hopped in my car, along with my old friend Jett Armstrong and we set off for Tumby Bay which was about half hour back in the direction I had just travelled back towards Whyalla. For those wondering I had only two beers up to this point!
We arrived shortly after 7pm and waited for the rest of the crew to arrive, we were all provided with some very tidy rooms right next to the hotel. We all reconvened an hour or so later for dinner. The hotel was absolutely lovely and provided some sweet catering. It was time to drink some serious beer and try the hotels vegetarian options. These moments are really special and ones I try to cherish.
We all awoke the following morning to get some breakfast and face the day ahead. I was excited watching the ring go up in the carpark of the Tumby Bay Hotel. This was to be ‘Rumble at the Red Roof’, a special event no doubt for Downunder who grew up in Tumby Bay, this was to be a homecoming of sorts. It was quite convenient his parents, who were absolutely amazing lived right next door to the hotel and it provide the perfect spot to put up the entrance and a shed to act as backstage for the afternoon.
Hayter and I went on just before intermission, I was full of nostalgia competing again for the RCW strap, time flies but damn it had been 16 years, it was made even more special I got to wrestle Hayter, who’s a good kid with a bright future. We went all out and put on a solid match but he caught me with the superkick off an attempted spring board shoulder tackle and it was all over.
Time for more beer! Knowing I was to drive home in a couple hours I had to be reasonable, but not before indulging in some vegetarian bbq Downunder’s parents made especially for us hippies. After woofing down a few meat free goodies it was time to hit the road to get back to my lovely partner back home in Whyalla. I snuck off for a quiet walk alone before hitting the road and took some photos of the town and read the history plaques scattered about, one of my favourite past time when visiting small country towns (Yes I’m getting old!). I thanked the crew especially Downunder for having me, and hit the road.
All in all it was one of the more special wrestling weekends I have had in recent memory, I got to combine my love for rural South Australian towns with professional wrestling. As I get older I have found myself to be humbled and grateful for moments like these.
I am pretty keen to do it all again in 2023!