NZ wrestling’s first steel-cage fight
Auckland wrestling outfit IPW is getting set to host New Zealand’s first ever steel-cage fight at Mt Eden’s War Memorial Hall on Saturday.
IPW (Impact Pro Wrestling) general manager Alfred Valentine has decided to put two of his most prized fighters - Jason Burns and Liam Fury - in a four-metre high steel cage in an attempt to create an intense one-on-one encounter.
In the past, Burns had utilised the services of his teammates - The Young Nats - defeating Fury twice in the past 15 months.
However, in order to avoid any outside interference, IPW’s steel cage will ensure both fighters are forced to face each alone.
Burns said it wasn’t something he expected and criticised the organisers for the decision.
‘‘I’m far from happy,’’ Burns said.
‘‘This whole steel cage match is to keep the Young Nats out of the contest. It’s just a business move on [Valentine’s] tickets.’’
However, Valentine refuted the claim and said it was more about balancing the field.
‘‘It’s an attempt to get Liam the fair fight he deserves,’’ Valentine said.
‘‘Locking both men in the steel cage means they can settle the score once and for all with no interference possible.’’
Despite that decision, however, Valentine did not deny the obvious novelty of a cage fight and the part to sell marketing lure it brought with it.
‘‘A steel cage match is a true professional wrestling spectacle that New Zealand has never been able to experience,’’ he said.
‘‘We have just been waiting for the right rivalry and the right feud to do it.’’
Fury and Burns had once been good friends, becoming New Zealand’s first tag-team champions together.
However, Burns said they had gone their separate ways and multiple encounters over the past 15 months had fuelled the rivalry.
Despite the animosity, however, Burns said the fight would be great for New Zealand wrestling.
‘‘It’s definitely heading in the right direction, a lot of our talent is able to go overseas now and make a living from it,’’ Burns said.
‘‘A lot of my passion has come through wanting other people growing up in New Zealand to have an outlet when they have that passion for pro wrestling.’’
A shirtless Liam Fury lifts and slams Jason Burns in one of their Impact Pro Wrestling encounters.