NZ wrestling’s first steel-cage fight

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - SAMHEWAT

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.

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