FANS of Welsh wrestling have been treated to the return of one of its most loved events this month, as the well known Attack Pro Wrestling show made a comeback at Cathays Community Centre for the first time since 2020.
The action packed Welsh-based promotion which began in the small Cardiff bingo hall in 2011, has been widely regarded as one of the most influential shows in British wrestling over the past 10 years, though it was halted after the impacts of the pandemic and a number of it’s key members such as Mark Andrews, Pete Dunne, and Eddie Dennis signed to the world’s top promotion, the WWE.
However, Cardiff born wrestler and former WWE superstar Mark Andrews has now re-started the popular promotion in 2023, after his shock departure from the WWE last year, where he and a number of other Welsh athletes were released just a week before the major Clash At The Castle show in Cardiff’s Principality stadium.
It was this release that prompted the return of the local show, much to the delight of Welsh wrestling fans, who had turned up to the event in Cathays this January not knowing what it was.
Speaking back-stage at the show, pro wrestler Andrews, 31, said: “We’re bringing back Attack Pro Wrestling, and we feel this is the perfect time to do it with everything that’s happened over the past few years, and we’re all very excited about what’s coming next.
“We started it originally back in 2011 just doing small shows in places like Cardiff and Birmingham, in front of small crowds as a place to express ourselves, but it quickly grew a very loyal fan base and became what I would say is the spiritual home of Welsh wrestling.
“If you look at the big names to come out of UK wrestling over the past few years such as myself, Eddie Dennis, Pete Dunn, Wild Boar, and Flash Morgan Webster most of them trace their roots back to these first Attack shows, and we hope we can launch the next generation of talent from the area here as well now.
“People might not realise it but Wales is a hot-bed for wrestling and there is a very strong fans base of people who absolutely love coming to these kind of shows.
“It’s almost like it’s own little community in a way, with in-jokes and niche story lines built in to the production, and as many of the people in the audience have basically watched us growing up in the ring, we’re happy to be back in front of them in the venue where it all began for a lot of us.”
Andrews who rose to fame becoming one of the first Welsh Champions in WWE alongside tag team partner Flash Morgan Webster, went on to discuss the impacts of his release from the WWE promotion just weeks before The Clash At the Castle event, as well as how this led to the reboot of Attack pro Wrestling this year.
He said: “It was hard, as we were hoping to be on one of the biggest shows the UK has ever seen in Cardiff, but instead, just days before that event in the stadium took place we found out we had been let go, which was a bit of a shock to us all.
“It was a very difficult time for me as it was the same month as my wedding and I’d heard rumours I might make an appearance at Clash at the Castle, so to go from that to then hearing we were being let go was tough.
“Life goes on though, and even though a number of us were released from the WWE, it’s given us the opportunity to come back to where it all started with Attack.
“What we want to get across is that these are special shows intended for everyone to enjoy, where there is a unique atmosphere and connection between the athletes and the audience.
“Obviously we want to keep that same type of atmosphere we had before, but we also want to try and make it even bigger this time round and we’ve made a lot of improvements behind the scenes. We hope as many people as possible can come to see our next series of shows now in April, which will be our biggest to date.”
Former teacher turned pro-wrestler Eddie Dennis, 36, who was also one of the Welsh superstars signed to the WWE, said with Wales having such a vibrant professional wrestling scene at the moment bringing back the show now feels like the perfect time.
He said: “So many big names have come out of this show over the years since it first started in 2011, that it’s great to have it back for local audiences to enjoy again.
“From the wrestlers to the fans we’re all very passionate, and it’s only right that some of the bigger names start to pass on the experience we have, as well as creating a platform for the next generation of talent in Wales to show what they can do.
“Historically with the Attack shows you’d get to see people like Mark Andrews and Pete Dunne wrestle in these intimate venues, and watch future stars learning the skills they eventually take on to the highest level in the world.
“You would have to ask the fans exactly how they feel about the show being back but for us in the ring it’s amazing and we are immensely grateful for their support.”
Attack Pro Wrestling will return this April in one of its biggest events to date with a series of shows in Cardiff night-club Pryzm on April 1 and 2, 2023.