Giants of grappling in Burgess Hill

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THE giants of the grappling game are back in Burgess Hill this weekend in an American Rumble wrestling spectacular.

The big Saturday night showdown at the Martlets Hall on September 8 is a follow-up demanded by the fans after the successful show earlier in the year when wrestling returned to the town after a seven-year gap.

And making one of his first appearances in this country will be a huge 6ft 6ins giant in the shape of New Zealand heavyweight Slade Mercer.

Mercer, who tips the scales at between 18st and 19st, will be one of the stars battling it out for the king of the ring crown when the wrestlers can only be eliminated by being thrown out of the ring over the top rope, and the last man standing is the winner.

The Kiwi colossus, who has wrestled in America but is now based in Australia, has held the New Zealand heavyweight and tag team titles.

By all accounts, he is not a man to mess with. And why would you want to? He used to wrestle as “The Mad Axeman” Max Damage!

The big question is: Will anyone be able to shift him off his feet and launch him skywards on to the outside of the ring in the rumble?

One man who might fancy his chances is Flash Barker, the burly Gatwick security guard and former Premier Wrestling Federation heavyweight champion, who left the Martlets ring victorious after the all-in event in March.

Among the other stars in action will be one of the most popular wrestlers in British rings, “The Wonder Kid” Jonny Storm, Colombian high flyer Jorge Castano and the aptly-named Jimmy Havoc.

The show, which includes tag team and solo bouts as well as the climax, the American Rumble, starts at 7.30pm, and tickets are available from the box office, telephone 01444 242888, or on line via the Martlets Hall website.