I am a graphic designer, illustrator and wrestler living in Dublin. I have recently finished “The Alphabet of Wrestling” that may be of interest to Broadsheet
The Alphabet of Wrestling was a project I released weekly on social media, primarily Instagram, and features 26 illustrations of performers currently active in wrestling, it features wrestlers from all over the world and from all levels of fame in the wrestling business.
This project combines two of my passions, illustration and wrestling. Wrestling is a visual industry and I feel the larger than life characters really lend themselves to big, bright and vibrant caricatures….
He’s big, he’s bad, he’s from Belfast, and the video above is decidedly NSFW.
Damian Mackle, a.k.a. Big Damo, is the latest Irish professional wrestler to sign with American sports-entertainment troupe WWE.
He joins Bray man Fergal Devitt (Finn Balor) and Dubs Stephen Farrelly (Sheamus) & Rebecca Quin (Becky Lynch) on the roster of the former WWF, the world’s largest touring wrestling show, which continues to rake in hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide.
He’s just reported to their Performance Centre in Florida to train ahead of his US debut.
Today would have been the ninety-ninth birthday of Mexican pop-culture icon El Santo, and the world is celebrating, from pro wrestling nerds to the Google Doodle.
Debuting in the mid-1930s, pro-wrestler Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta knew his in-ring exploits needed the sizzle to match the beefcake.
Upon joining a group of silver-clad wrestlers in 1942, donned a mask and underwent his transformation to El Santo, a honest, fair-minded and upstanding technico that stood face-to-face against the nefarious rudos.
Over the following five decades, El Santo would thrill Mexico’s working class and poor, with tales of derring-do that would transcend the ring: his wildly popular comic book ran throughout Mexico for 35 years, only ending four years after his passing, and he would star in a long-running series (52 in all) of B-movies that would come to define the genre known as Lucha Horror.
It might be strange for those of us looking from outside that spectrum of pop-culture tropes, but his pre-Internet ubiquity was such, and his good-guy character’s virtues so simple, that he was able to blur the lines between fact and fiction, and be held in regard to this day as a real-life superhero.
Perhaps even more impressive was his adherence to kayfabe, the unwritten rule of protection of pro-wrestling continuity.
From the day he donned the mask, until a week before his passing, Santo was never identified unmasked in public, usually travelling separately from the rest of his promotion, and waiting hours to revert to his civilian identity, so as not to arouse suspicion of being one of the troupe.
He would even wear a custom version of his mask, adapted for eating, when dining publicly.
Santo retired in September of 1982, a week shy of his 65th birthday, after winning his final match, a chaotic four-on-four brawl where he teamed up with lifelong tag-team partner Gory Guerrero, as well as fellow legends El Solitario and Huracán Ramirez.
January 1984 saw El Santo appear on Mexican talk show Contrapunto to discuss life after retirement, and without warning, unmasked, as if bidding goodbye to the public.
He passed away the following week of a heart attack while on-stage at a play, and his funeral was considered one of the largest in Mexican history.
He is succeeded today by ten kids, including his son, El Hijo del Santo, and his grandchildren, among whom are El Santo Jr. and El Nieto del Santo.
More scenes of Irish success from the world of sports-entertainment last night.
Dubliner Rebecca Quin, formerly of independent promotions NWA Ireland, One Pro Wrestling, Queens of Chaos and more, was of one European wrestling’s brightest prospects before a head injury sustained during a match in Germany necessitated a long hiatus, including missing major independent shows in the US.
Returning to the States in 2011, as an on-screen manager for Shimmer Women’s Wrestling, Quin signed with industry leaders WWE in 2013, becoming Becky Lynch in the process.
After a questionably Oirish on-screen debut for their NXT brand, Lynch settled into the brand’s nascent women’s division, becoming one of its mainstays and embracing her own sci-fi/fantasy fandom in the process.
Heading to the WWE’s main roster in 2015, Lynch has been a massive part of the company’s Ronda Rousey-inspired push for women’s pro wrestling and, in the wake of WWE’s on-screen roster split, has settled into the top women’s role on the SmackDown brand.
Last night, at WWE’s Backlash event in Richmond, Virginia, Lynch won a six-woman elimination-rules match to become the SmackDown roster’s inaugural women’s kingpin.
Chants of “you deserve it!” greeted Lynch’s in-ring celebrations from the thousands in attendance.
Last we saw of intrepid pro-wrestling globetrotter Fergal Devitt, the Bray, County Wicklow man had signed with World Wrestling Entertainment (that’s the ex-WWF to the ’80s childer).
Debuting with its Florida-based NXT brand/division/etc., Fergal capitalised on his reputation from grappling exploits in Japan (where he was the subject of an RTÉ documentary), Mexico and Europe.
He become NXT’s biggest star as it began taking off, with touring and merchandise for WWE’s alternative product swelling around his arrival and championship reign…
…as Finn Balór (above), mild-mannered veteran by day, body-painted manimal on fight night.
So it seemed like the dream coming true for 35-year-old Fergal when he was finally called up to WWE’s main roster after nearly two years.
The creation of a new top championship for WWE’s Raw brand created an opportunity for Devitt to oppose storyline corporate golden-boy Seth Rollins at WWE Summerslam last month for the newly-minted WWE Universal Championship.
Customary ridiculousness of the title’s moniker aside, it placed Devitt right at the centre of the action.
Until this happened…
In the course of some scuffling on the floor of the Barclay’s Centre in Brooklyn, New York, Devitt went full-force into the guard rail surrounding the ring.
He not only separated his shoulder, but popped it back into place on camera, before proceeding to finish the match, becoming the champion of the world before 17,000 rabid fans in the process.
After finishing the morning’s media appearances, Devitt got his shoulder checked out, and with a career’s damage taking its toll, WWE doctors told him he’d need immediate surgery and 3-4 months’ recovery time.
Fergal had been champion for less than twenty-four hours before relinquishing the belt, after a sixteen-year career.
What’s left of a story to tell?
Why, the Rocky comeback, of course, and WWE are already all over it, generating sympathy and support in anticipation of his return bout and inevitable rematch with Rollins, showing footage of his surgery and day one of his physical therapy.
Welcome, fake-sports fans, to the WWE Ultimate King of the Ring Smackdown! And for our main event, we present Ginger “Bone” Snapper versus The Midnight Mangler! Winner to be decided by two falls and an ear nomming!