Tales from the Ref: The Luck of the Irish in Alberta

The Irishman is one of the most respected wrestlers in Alberta today. Check out Mike's Tale on his last run in Monster Pro Wrestling.

In most wrestling locker rooms, there is one veteran, one wrestler, that can be known as the conscience of an organization.  Someone who can be a moral compass, both in his actions in the ring and dealing with issues in the locker room.  In Alberta, this man has been known simply as The Irishmen.

The native of Shannon, Ireland, has been one of the most popular wrestlers to come across Alberta Wrestling fans in years.  Personally, one of my favourite moments as a production worker was during the Irishmen’s last match before a recent surgery on his shoulder.  As a cameraman for the Canadian Wrestling Coalition, in front of a packed house in Red Deer, the Irishman had the opening contest on the card.  Hearing a bagpipe version of “Shipping Up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphy’s, and the rumble throughout the entire building, where the entire floor was trembling, I got goosebumps on the mere entrance of the big man.

In the ring, The Irishmen is one of the most insane characters to step foot in the squared circle.  At 265 pounds, he would take to the skies with crazy moonsaults or grind you down with straight technical prowess.  But the one type of match he enjoyed the most were the hardcore matches.  He loved the weapons, the violence, the blood.  This man loved diving off ladders, slamming through tables, or wrapping a chair around someone’s unlucky head (or get wrapped in the head himself).

And of course, people throughout the Alberta Avenue Hall can hear me scream out “IRA OUT OF NOWHERE!!!” (Irishmen’s version of a RKO/Ace Crusher). He has hit that move out of more spots than I believe Randy Orton has… someone needs to do a checklist!  He could have a good match with anyone.  That leads me to the Tale this week, and his final fun of matches in Monster Pro Wrestling.

Starting in February 2018, Irish was fighting over the Monster Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Championship. This was against his former tag team partner Krazy Kore.  These two had some of the most insane straight-up fights that MPW has ever seen.  Enter in a third factor into this rivalry, tagSTRUGGLE’s Meniac.  I had selected Meniac as a special guest referee for this Championship Match.  Unfortunately, the anger of Meniac getting spit on by Krazy Kore cost Irish the title.

Meniac missed Kore with a chair and clocked Irishmen square in the head, knocking him unconscious . It is what ended up costing Irish the match.  Due to this chair shot, Irish was not cleared to wrestle at the next month’s show. It was MPW’s annual bar show in March.  However, since the main event had Krazy Kore defending against Meniac, I saw it only fair to have Irishmen as the special referee in that match up. 

Being the General Manager at the time, I didn’t see this as an issue.  However, when the Irish came out, he has a beer in one hand, and his cell phone in the other. He was shooting a video on Facebook Live throughout the match.  Of course, by the end of it Irish knocks both men out and walks out with the title. The scary part is most people thought it was justified. Simply because of how he was screwed over by Krazy Kore numerous times.  The next month Meniac wins the title in a triple threat match. This leads to Irish retiring Kore in a “Loser Leaves MPW” match in April.  That was Irishmen’s final match in Monster Pro Wrestling as well.

Now before I fast forward to the present, I do have to mention his effect on the locker room.  I know that fellow ProWrestlingPost.com contributors KJ and Mike will agree that Irish is an excellent trainer.  He’s a man who knows how to break down fundamentals to a tee. The Irishmen is one of the most respected teachers of the game in Alberta.  Many people can sit you down and explain how to do a certain hold or move. Irish will explain why to do a move and how to make every move in the ring make sense. 

So many wrestlers can perform what I call “video game wrestling.” This is where you can land a bunch of moves that don’t make sense on their own, but are great to see.  But in many ways, it’s a dying art on the psychology of wrestling, and Irish knows how to explain it in spades.  One of the most common comments I hear in locker rooms from not only the younger workers, but many of the veterans, is “if Irish opened a school, I’d be there in an instant.”  The highest praise that one can receive is one from your own pupils.

Now while healing from his injury, the Irishmen has moved over to become the Edmonton General Manager of Real Canadian Wrestling.  His knowledge and experience should be an asset in taking RCW to the next level.  Especially with a backlog of veterans in MPW making the jump to RCW.  But that is another Tale for another day.

I’d wish the Irishmen the best, but we all know he has the Luck of the Irish!!!

Classic Irishmen matches are available on Backbreaker Media Video on Demand, as well as on Powerslam TV.