Wrestling with Robertson

Share This Post

An interview with Steve Robertson about his Rock ‘n’ Wrestle events.

Steve Robertson the man behind Rock ‘n’ Wrestle has followed wrestling from a young age. Steve shares his early memories:

“In 1991 a friend showed me WWF, now WWE,and I saw a match with Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart and Mr Perfect and it was these large colourful characters, and I was like wow! What’s this all about! I was obsessed, I was swapping videotapes with people.

TBP Toby Michaels Rolling Damned Ironworks Inverness DSC00336 200x300 - Wrestling with Robertson
Sreve Robertson playing with Toby Michaels Rolling Damned

I was quite young, I wasn’t even a teenager then. I was swapping videos as I was desperate to see the stars and the shows. At that age we didn’t know if it was real or not.”

Steve relates to a description given by Vince McMahon who owns WWE who described it as ‘What they do is they make movies.’ “If you think about it, it kind of is with the characters”.

As Steve grew up he never really drifted away from it;

“I would like to have said to people that I grew out of it when I got into my late teens but the reality was that my mum and dad didn’t have Sky television when I was a kid and my friends used to tape it for me.

They grew out of it so I kind of had no option to be able to see it. In the late 90s I had access to Sky again and with ‘The Attitude Arena’ it was where WWF went for the older audiences. So it was quite strange; I had come back into it and it had grown with me which I wasn’t expecting. They had all the people like Steve Austin and The Rock. I was back into being obsessed about it!”

As much as he admires the athleticism that’s not the main attraction to Steve. “I’ve always been a sucker for characters with charisma. Someone that can speak as well as deal with the action.”

Fast forwarding to 2008 and Steve is at the Braehead Arena. “I went with my friends who had tickets for TNA wrestling, and I don’t think that the company had been going for that long. We had second row tickets and I sat there I thought I’d love to put this on.

In the bathroom there was a flyer for a company called Premier British Wrestling, and with the support of my employer at the time, The Ironworks who continue to be supportive, of putting on a show. We did a show with them and did about three of four shows over the years, but not every year.”

From this Steve looked to taking it in a new direction;

“I said to Ross Watson (Kid Fite who runs PBW) that I would like to do something a bit different, something that involves both music wrestling. The idea of a Rock ‘n’ Wrestle show with PBW came and over time it evolved into its independence from PBW.

We still have ties; many of the guys who go to PBW training their first show out with that company will be with us. The matchmaking decisions are now effectively onto me and anyone who is with Rock ‘n’ Wrestle. We are no longer just buying the show and we have more control over the product. We are bringing in wrestlers from all over, not just from PBW and we are on the verge of selling out at the Ironworks.”

As well as the main characters, the wrestlers, Steve has introduced a local character;

Toby Michaels Rolling Damned vs Jack Jester 4 300x168 - Wrestling with Robertson
Toby Michaels getting the worst side of Jack Jester at the first Rock ‘n’ Wrestle

“Toby Michaels! Yes, One of the things that that they do in wrestling if you want to bring attention to a product is to get a celebrity. Whether they are regionally famous and Toby at that point was off the back of the ICT (Inverness Caledonian Thistle) single. He’s also a fellow wrestling man and he shares a lot of the same passion.”

Originally Toby tangled with Jack Jester but now has managed to get embroiled with Crusher Craib and Switch. Steve takes up the story. “He’s in Crusher’s corner and if Crusher can’t beat this guy then the guy is allowed to do what he wants with Toby!” If ever there was a good reason to go to the Ironworks on the 27th of March this must be it. (Sorry Toby!)

Rock ‘n’ Wrestle has its own champion; a Highland Champion as Steve explains “That’s Jack Jester. He won a tournament to win that and he defends his belt officially in March but he’s wrestling in Forres in February and I don’t know if he’ll be defending the belt or not then.”

Jack Jester and the likes of Grado are fast becoming big names but they continue to enjoy their bookings in Inverness. Looking further afield Steve has found a change in making bookings.

Rock and Wrestle 2 TBP09664 21 300x200 - Wrestling with Robertson
Grado is certainly one of the crowd favourites at Rock N Wrestle

“Initially we were reaching out to guys and now it’s at the point it’s 50:50. We’re getting guys banging on our doors as they’ve heard good things. One of the things that the public maybe don’t see is that in my background being music if you’re working with a band, at say the Ironworks, they would normally get something to eat, something to drink.

I bring all this to wrestling. We put out food for the guys, put on a buffet and try to make it something healthy they can eat and afterwards give them some beers and stuff. I hope this doesn’t offend any other wrestling promoters but I’m told this is pretty much unheard of.”

As for the audiences these are still something that Steve is trying to work out. “I think we are still learning. I was quite surprised. I thought the audience would be mainly families and at the last one our audience seemed to be people 16 to 30.”

Steve goes on to tell what they are giving audiences. “It’s pure escapism. Our ticket prices are quite affordable. We’re saying to people ‘come along, you don’t need to know who Rowdy Roddy Piper fought at Wrestlemania 2 and the like’. You don’t need to be that anorak about it. People brought their kids along who thought it might be a drag but I got emails later on saying when’s the next one!”

Steve is trying to keep the appeal and range wide. “The satellite shows focus on the best of British talent. These are smaller capacity shows; anything between 100 and 150 people. Basically if you want to come along and have a great night of action and family fun. Inverness has the bigger capacity at the Ironworks and it’s a bit flashier.

These are the ones we have focused on for the Americans. At our next one we have the tag team The Wolves, that’s Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards. They’ve been the TNA tag team champions. Also we have Angelina Love, one of TNA’s top Knockouts (their female division).”

Steve’s ambitions don’t stop at putting shows on for a live audience, amongst some fresh ideas that he has he also sees potential for it go either online or on a lesser known Sky channel. “I think we’ve got the stars, we’ve got the talent. It would be amazing have a TV show filmed in the Ironworks.”

If you’re looking for the action you’ll find it at the Victoria Hotel in Forres on February 28th and at the Ironworks on 27th March. Ticket detail via the Rock N Wrestle website.

A notefrom the editor

Support live music in Inverness by supporting IGigs! For over 10 years, IGigs has been showcasing the best of the local music scene through previews, reviews, photographs, and more. But maintaining the website incurs costs, and your support can help keep this invaluable resource alive.

Frank Finlayson
Frank Finlayson
Chartered surveyor by day, music reviewer by night, and occasionally I get to use my camera. A strange mix, but one that I enjoy. A chance meeting in the queue for Bella in 2010 led to the opportunity to write for InvernessGigs; a far cry from the days of writing for a football fanzine back in the late 80s, early 90s. My interests lie between the mainstream, the emerging and the local. Increasingly I find that we have more than enough locally to entertain us to necessitate a trip south. I’m always happy to give a listen, whatever the genre. Inverness has a plethora of talent, all of which I am more than keen to write about. If it encourages just one person to make the effort to listen to some new music I’ll be happy. You can contact Frank direct via frankieboyfin@gmail.com

What's new?

Optimized by Optimole