Not many people get the chance to live out their wildest dreams – especially if they involve muscular men in spandex!
But wrestling fan Greg Lambert has been doing exactly that for the past decade, and has now told his remarkable story in a critically-acclaimed book.
The 41-year-old Morecambe Visitor reporter is the author of ‘Holy Grail: The true story of British Wrestling’s revival’.
It chronicles his journey from humble beginnings as an internet blogger and contributor to Europe’s top independent wrestling magazine, Power Slam, to an assured commentator calling the action, and a devious wrestling manager, ‘The Truth’, who crowds simply loved to hate.
Defying all his expectations, Holy Grail became the number one wrestling book on Amazon, outselling efforts by legendary names such as Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and Chris Jericho.
Greg says: “The reaction has been amazing and pleasantly surprising. It hasn’t had a single bad review. The wrestlers all love it, the fans love it and the media love it.
“The thing that people say the most, the reason why people like it, is unlike a lot of wrestling books, it’s a story.
“It’s very easy to follow and it’s quite inspiring. It’s also about a subject and an era that hasn’t been written about a lot, so I think I’ve nailed it at the right time.”
Holy Grail weaves a tale of triumph, disaster and hope, recalling Greg’s encounters with a ‘who’s who’ of wrestling stars from Mick Foley and Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, to CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.
But above all it champions the wealth of talent on these shores, many of whom are featured on Challenge TV’s new show BWC British Wrestling Round Up, a Sunday night showcase, which it officially sponsors.
Greg says: “The world doesn’t begin and stop with WWE and TNA. There is an underground British wrestling scene that is sort of simmering, but a lot of people don’t realise it’s there.
“A lot of these guys are just as good as the Americans, because a lot of them end up over there.
“From Preston’s Wade Barrett to William Regal, Pac, Rockstar Spud, Nick Aldis, Doug Williams and Paige.”
After befriending Alex Shane, the driving force behind the Frontier Wrestling Alliance (FWA), Greg eventually became a booker and promoter with the then biggest UK company.
By 2006 he was running the FWA in the face of adversity, and when it folded, he created the XWA in the wrestling hotbed of his hometown.
He says the British wrestling scene is a lot healthier now than it was 10 years ago, with companies up and down the country thriving, and promoters like Steven Fludder, the man behind Preston City Wrestling, drawing crowds of 800 avid fans.
Yet he wants to see British wrestling achieve mainstream recognition and once again enjoy the success of the ITV ‘World of Sport’ days.
He says: “The whole point of the Holy Grail is we need to have British wrestlers on the same level as before, as identifiable as Big Daddy or Giant Haystacks were, who the average man on the street knew.
“You need to have a British wrestling TV show on that kind of level for that to happen.”
For such an overwhelmingly positive tale, Holy Grail ends on a sad note, commenting on the demolition of the Morecambe Dome, where Greg promoted and hosted so many shows.
He says: “Dino Scarlo taught me you don’t always have to end a show with people happy – sometimes it’s better to send them home with a little bit of regret or anger, and then they are more likely to come back next time.
“Maybe I was thinking about that, leaving readers wanting a bit more.
“People are already saying ‘when is the second one coming out?’ There will be a second one, which will be more about the modern British wrestling scene.”
‘Holy Grail: The true story of British Wrestling’s revival’, published by Authorhouse, is available in paperback and on e book/Kindle, with copies at Waterstones in Fishergate, Preston, and online from websites such as Amazon and WH Smiths.