By: Bobby Bishop
By the time I came into local wrestling, or found it, it was 2015, and boy did it make me question my own likes and dislikes about wrestling. Looking at the local scene now, and seeing a standard finally form with training and how shows are being run, it reminds me of all the people I met who were genuinely wanting the scene to change for the better, who sadly moved on or got burnt out at the almost impossible task.
Queensland, especially Brisbane in 2015, was a era where only a few had gone elsewhere and trained to a standard that was okay to be on shows. A small few, were at a level that was exceptional for the area, a-lot however still needed even the basic fundamentals rehashed. But the characters that came out of Brisbane city, were absolutely inspiring yet disgustingly fun to get into. AWA GRINDHOUSE, was a show like I had never seen before, created by Australian Wolf Mason Childs and run by Jesse Daniels. The Grindhouse was a show full of the most creative yet almost acid trip inventing, mask and non mask characters.
Gone are the days where we would see an army ranked Wombat and Toad (Combat Wombat and Battle Toad), or a young AJ Istria known as the Virgin Warrior (blue balls), who would be on a destructive streak of wins, due too the fact that his character was constantly angry and focused due to celibacy. It was a 18 plus show that was set up in a old broke down Cinema known as the New Globe Theatre. Looking back on most of the venues that shows ran out of back then, most did not fit the standard that the top shows in Queensland currently run at. This theatre, this broken down Cinema with a bar, chairs and lights with a ring in front of it, I don’t think there could ever be a more perfect fit for a cheap cost show that’s premise is a Grindhouse movie style of wrestling.
The creativity that was awarded to the lockeroom was almost unlimited and did people take liberties with it? ABSOLUTELY! But did some find solid gold ideas THEY ABSOLUTELY DID! Will it ever happen again? The unfortunate thing about the Grindhouse is it was always just going to be a just era, that came out of an almost wasteland of lawlessness and lack of standards. But it was a time, and I’ll always remember how it made me realise how far wrestling could go to connect with audience with characters.