Greetings, grapple fans!

Those of us of a certain age can remember Saturday afternoons in front of the telly, listening to Kent Walton commentate as the likes of Big Daddy, Kendo Nagasaki and Mick McManus knocking seven bells out of each other. Hovering somewhere between sport and theatre, I remember being hugely entertained by this eccentric spectacle, and saddened when it was finally banished from the schedules.

I was told by promoter Paul Tyrrell that wrestling hasn’t been seen (at least inside a ring) at the Corn Hall since the nineties. Given the venue is now known for folk music, National Theatre broadcasts and independent theatre, it may come as a surprise that it’s ever been a feature. Last Friday was certainly the first time I’ve seen two grown men grappling in leotards since watching it on the box, and it was with some trepidation that I turned up for this return. Billed as a grudge match between Ipswich based Stars of Slam and Norwich’s World Association of Wrestling, Diss was perfectly placed to host an event with characters such as The Amazing Franklin, RIP Parker, Kobe Nitro and Nova Jack Midz, who engaged in a whirlwind series of bouts that culminating in the organised chaos of a ten man tag match.

The elephant in the room is the age old debate of how genuine the action was. To my mind the question is irrelevant. As baying grapple fans of all ages screamed with indignation at the rules and limbs being bent, what I saw was quite extraordinary levels of athleticism, heroes and villains, engaging narrative arcs and superb theatrics. Frankly, if some of the moves were choreographed, I find that all the more impressive. I struggle to remember an evening at the Corn Hall when I’ve been more entertained. Let’s hope it’s not another thirty years before wrestling returns again.