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August 2014: An Intensive Two Weeks

In the first two weeks of August, I was involved in the world of combat sports as a trainer, commentator, booker, wrestler, promoter, fan, mentor, psychologist, tourist, zombie, classless street urchin and probably a million other things. I slept on a few floors, got thrown of out a club, thrown out of a ring, punched between the legs and travelled more than any human being should have to in a 24 hour period.

DDW’s 5th Annual Intensive Summer Training Course

Every year I look forward to these two weeks in the summer as passionate young hopefuls come to Rzeszów to try their hand at professional wrestling. This year’s course was a lot different than any previous year’s as it seems that the vast majority of people had already had the experience of participating in at least one, if not more of the previous summer courses.

Day number two of the course really sticks out to me as the most memorable day as it was “the four stages of hell”. This is where you really separate the men from the boys. There were four challenges - a chop battle tournament, a shuttle run race, a Hindu squat challenge and a shoot fighting tournament.

In case you’re not too familiar with pro wrestling, a “chop” is basically an open-handed strike / slap to the chest. Even though I may not look like the typical WWE wrestler, I can probably chop harder than most of them because of my technique. In the chop battle tournament, you and your opponent take turns hitting each other with chops until someone says “I quit”. If you win, you advance to the next round and do it again. This year I felt the need to prove myself and ended up winning against four of five people before winning the tournament.

[one of my victims]

The greatest part about DDW for me has always been the school. It has always been the most satisfying and most successful part of the company. I still am amazed at how there were only four people during the first ever summer course in 2009 and now it has grown to the level it has. I was also very impressed with this year’s group of newcomers.


[DDW Wrestling School - class of 2014]

Pokaz Adeptów (student show) + FEN 4

After two solid weeks of training every day, two groups per day, three hours per group (six hours per day) it was time to say goodbye briefly and head to Sopot for “Fight Exclusive Night 4”. To say it was a “short detour” would not do justice as after I wrapped up the final day of training on Friday I got on a bus to Warsaw from Rzeszów at 3:00am Saturday morning and arrived at Chopin Airport three hours before my flight to Sopot. Once in Sopot I had time to grab a quick bite to eat and headed straight to the arena to prepare for the show on Saturday evening.


[Bird's eye view of Gdańsk and the Baltic Sea]

I was a little bit surprised at the ring, which had been modified by removing the bottom two ropes and putting a cage round the bottom in order to make a half-cage, half-ring. I actually think this is a great idea since FEN always has a mix of MMA and kickboxing on the show and the cage shouldn’t affect the kick boxers too much, but should be more comfortable for the MMA fighters.


[Not too far from the truth]


In my opinion the fight of the night was Mora versus Wlazło. Mora was busted open and bleeding from his head and nose, but in true fashion, kept forging forward and showed his guts again and got the win. Tymoteusz Świątek and Pavel Svoboda also turned in equally impressive performances and showed a lot of heart. I was convinced that Svobodo wouldn’t even make it out of his corner for the final round as he could barely stand up at that point, but he sucked it up and fought like a champ. Unfortunately for him he got caught with a RNC, which I feel he could have normally fought off, but due to his fatigue he had to tap.


[Tymoteusz Świątek is victorious]

Meanwhile, back in Rzeszów, the DDW team was setting up for and executing the “Pokaz Adeptów” show in Klub Pod Palmą. I have seen some of the footage, and was pretty impressed, especially by the Mateusz “Typowy” Kowalski vs. Kaszub match. I’m sure you’ll be seeing more from both of these guys on future DDW events.


Now The Fun Begins ...


The end of the FEN show was only the beginning for me. After the show I attempted to go to the official after party at the “Unique Club & Lounge”, but was denied entrance because my shoes weren’t up to their standards. I guess being the commentator for FEN’s worldwide TV program on FightBox HD and being dressed in a suit isn’t enough to be allowed into the club. So to show this prick doorman how much class I have I promptly left said establishment and got some French fries at the nearest kebab shop and then went to the airport and slept on the floor for a few hours until my plane back to Warsaw was ready to check in.

After a quick 5:00am flight to Warsaw I figured I’d have at least 4 - 5 hours on the bus to Rzeszów to sleep - WRONG. On this particular bus on this particular morning there happened to be a group of 8 - 10 extraordinarily annoying 13 - 15 year old kids on some sort of organized trip who were all sitting just in front of me, throwing food at each other, singing ridiculous pop songs and playing video games on their mobile phones extremely loudly.


All or Nothing II


I arrived at Klub Pod Palmą at about 2:30pm, as planned, and had exactly three hours for last minute preparations for one of the most important shows in DDW history. Adrenaline is a wonderful thing and it certainly gave me the second wind I so badly needed.

Again, I have to take my hats off to the guys and gals at DDW who stepped up to the plate and did a great job of running things while I was gone. Without them All or Nothing surely would have been “nothing” instead of “all”. The show went VERY smoothly and I was really surprised by some of the performances of my students, especially Kamil Aleksander who had three matches that night and went on to become the second ever DDW International Champion.


[Kamil Aleksander - new DDW International Champion - photo by Stanisław Pałys]


I don’t think there is anyone else in DDW who is more deserving of that title. Kamil was one of those four guys who showed up at the very first training at the DDW Wrestling School in 2009 and he’s put in more time and effort than anyone else in the company. I’ve literally seen Kamil change from a boy into a man over the five years that he’s been with DDW. He represents everything that DDW stands for: hard work, dedication, respect, trust and fighting spirit.

I was also very pleasantly surprised by the amount of people in the audience. To be completely honest, I was only expecting half as much. The majority of the crowd seemed to be non-wrestling fans who lived in Rzeszów and during the first few matches they really didn’t have much of an idea of how to react or what was going on, but as the show progressed, and probably due to the help of the hardcore wrestling fans in attendance, they began to catch on and really started getting into it as the show progressed. At the end of the main event, everyone was on their feet celebrating with the new champion.

As for my match with Piękny Kawaler, all is not well. I had him locked in the Donaconda and he was tapping out as I was trying to rip his shoulder from his torso. His jabronies Kamil Leśny and Luxus tried to save his puny ass, but they got a taste of the Donaconda too. Then, just when I was going in for the kill, that jerk Pan Pawłowski decided to rear his ugly head again after I had already fired him early in the evening and had him thrown out of the building.

A long story short, Piękny Kawaler never beat me on his own. It took five people and a low blow to pin my shoulders to the ground. The Don Roid Challenge has still not been won. Piękny Kawaler is NOT the leader of the new generation in DDW, he is NOT the future of DDW and he did definitely NOT win the Don Roid Challenge.


[photo - Stanisław Pałys]


[photo - Stanisław Pałys]


Feed Me More!


Next on the list is a trip to Budapest to wrestle for HCW. I’m going to be in a 25 person Royal Rumble type match at their 4th annual "Utolsó Emberig 2014" show this Saturday. Time to hit the road again!

- Daniel Austin (Don Roid)




[photo - Stanisław Pałys]








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