Wrestling Journal Entry #5

(My Lack Of) Free Wrestling…



Joining the main class was overwhelming to say the least. I was training with people who had been doing this for one year, two years, three years, even more, and here I was with about three or four months training underneath my belt. I didn’t want to slow them down by being behind on the wrestling skills and techniques, but most importantly, I didn’t want to hurt anyone with my inexperience. The people I train with are good people. I also worry a lot.

Enter my first free wrestling drill. I wasn’t expecting to do this so soon, but here it was. There were about ten of us, so two people were on the mats free wrestling with each other, and the rest of us were sitting around the mats, waiting to tag in and get our few licks in. I was hesitant to tag in, but Diego was sure that I would be fine… and also gave me no choice.

I tagged in. And pushed the other guy. And then felt my body and blew him a kiss. Total wrestling moves performed = 0. Then I picked him up and dropped him with a body slam, and followed that vicious wrestling move by standing over him and dancing. Total wrestling moves performed = 1.

My ineptitude to come up with wrestling on the fly can only be cured with time and more training, so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself.

That’s the beautiful thing about wrestling. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing it – two months, five years, 15 years – there is always something new to learn, so you have all the time in the world to learn new things about this amazing craft.

Inspiration

THE BITCH GROUP

What would a man be without his Army of Skanks friends.

These girls have been my ride-or-die day ones, and I have been friends with majority of them ever since I was 12. 13 years later, and we are as close as ever. Sure, we may drive each other nuts, and have small issues with each other, but at the end of the day, we love each other, but most importantly, support each other.

When I decided I was going to start my training to become a professional wrestler, I wanted to get the opinion of my girl friends. For some reason, I was feeling insecure and thought that the reaction would be negative from some, if not, all of them. But I was overwhelmed with positive feedback and opinions; a couple especially were along the lines of “Well it’s about time you started wrestling. I’ve always thought you were going to do that.”

I don’t know where I’d be without such a great support network, and these girls have pushed me from day one to become the best version of myself I can be.

To Amanda, Cara, Emilie, Leearna, Nikki-jayne, Rachel and Sian. Thank you for everything you have ever done for me, because every little small action or gesture you have given me has to led to this moment.

The big news…

At this point, I had been training consistently for about four or five months. It was drilled into us from day one that we wouldn’t get in the ring to perform until we were crisp and ready to go, and I was in total agreement with it. I didn’t want to wrestle a match until I was completely sure in myself, along with the approval of my trainers, that I was ready to go.

It was early June 2017 when Leigh and Diego pulled Dylan and I aside to chat. I went into this conversation thinking they would say something along the lines of “We’re proud of how much effort you are putting into training and we just wanted to let you know it’s gone unnoticed.” That part of the conversation did happen; however, there was more to come.

They wanted to put Dylan and I in the first ever APWG Rumble match.

I was shook. I never thought I’d get in the ring and participate in any match so early on in my training, and at first, I was hesitant and a bit worried that they were chucking me in too early. Granted, they did say we’d have small spots and would be performing as glorified rookies, but it was still a big task.

I was excited. I was nervous. I was EXCITED. I was damn nervous.

Nikki would be making his official in-ring debut on 1 July 2017. It was happening. All my years of watching wrestling and hoping that one day I would be able to do that was coming.

– by Nikki

#NKinNA16: Part 6 – The Credits

Six weeks seems like a long time, especially for a holiday.

But when you’re travelling with the best travel partner and the most amazing group of friends, then that time will just fly by, and soon you’ll be sitting back in your home, typing furiously away at your laptop keyboard about your experiences because you refuse to let go of what once was.

What I would like to do now is write about all the people who made this trip incredible. Without you, I wouldn’t be writing this #NKinNA16 travel blog, because my experience would have been horrible and I would have nothing to write home about.

059

The obvious starter for my round of shout outs is Kate: for six weeks, I got to wake up to you every morning, travel the great continent of North America with you, eat a rotation of cheese pizza and portabello sandwiches with you, and overall have the greatest time on the other side of the world with you. You are truly an incredible person, an amazing friend, and the best travelling partner I could have ever asked for. Thank you for snuggling me after our nights out with the group so we could talk about our feelings. Thank you for bringing me meatless Big Mac meals even when I didn’t expect it. Thank you for “taking walks” at the last minute. And thank you for being as selfless as one can be. This has been the adventure of a lifetime, and I can’t wait to take more with you.

To my family ElleNate and Aidan: thank you for taking Kate and I around Salt Lake City and being the best hosts ever. I can’t wait to see you guys again, when all three of you eventually move (back) to Australia. I’m not giving you a choice.

To my friends on the other side of the world who took the time out to see me, Emma and Nick: I love you both. Nashville was great because I got to see you, Emma, and reminisce on how totally not innocent we both were. Nick, thank you for bending over backwards to accommodate me in Cleveland, but next time, we have to spoon.

147

To my original Mean Girls, Angela and Eliza: we clicked from day one, and judging by how much I miss you, it’s clear to see why. You girls were the best, plain and simple. As a Regina, I couldn’t have asked for a better Gretchen and Karen. And to your respective room buddies Russell and Simon, it was a darn pleasure getting to know y’all, and I can’t wait to catch up with all four of you some time in the near future. Perhaps Kate and I will join you for another round at Cheesecake Factory somewhere? #squadgoals (Somehow, somewhere, I will get a recording of you in Kanab, Russell, and I will hold it over your head forever)

Mike and James: I got along with the both of you very quickly, and always felt at ease when surrounded by one or both of you. If you’re reading this on your current journeys, don’t have too much fun without me. I’ll get jealous. Also, I didn’t get to sing Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me to you, so I guess that means I’ll have to see you when you get home.

To my bitches colloquially referred to as the “Adelaide Girls”, Courtney, Ashley and Georgia: keep Ashley in check. We all know how slutty rowdy she can get. I love you girls, and am glad I got to know you during the short time we had with each other. When I come to visit Kate, y’all better get Radelaide prepare for #CycloneNikki. Also just a sidenote to Ashley: shake shake shake shake shake.

185

My two protectors on tour, Big Red and Micco: I could get away with 90% of the stuff I did on tour because I knew y’all were there to back me up if I needed it. Big Red, I loved my cuddles from you, and I think you’re a spectacular person that deserves the world. I just hate your grubby NRL team. I also miss saying “Big Red! Where are you? Aren’t you meant to carry me everywhere?”

178

My rowdy Chicago taxi ride home crew Ally and Lauren: I miss y’all so much, and along with the boys from Melbourne and Eliza, missed you two the most from North by North East. Ally, we were destined to get along; after all, we are the Bottle Blonde Bitches together. Thank you for enduring the rape-by-water jet boat ride with me, and for being a vulgar nympho with me. Lauren, I can’t send you my sneaky pictures anymore for obvious reasons, but somehow I will keep our tradition alive.

270

To both of my lovers on tour, Jacob and Esther: I love you both. Jacob, you are sensational in every sense of the word because you are not afraid to be true to yourself. You have this infectious personality that affects everyone around you, and people can’t help but want to be in your general vicinity. Esther, you are by far one of the most beautiful souls I have met. Your insides are as beautiful as your outsides (which is a lot). Can’t wait to see you somewhere in this small world of ours. Also, my mum is excited to meet her new daughter-in-law.

151

My boys Brandon, Lochie and Rohan: catch you guys on the flipside. I loved meeting all three of you, and having the privilege of seeing you again after you got off tour. Lochie, you are one of the true gems of the world, and I will always love you for who you are. Rohan, I don’t know if you remember, but Kate entrusted a drunken Nikki to you one night in Boston, and you got me home safe and sound. I will never forget that. Brandon, McGregor is better than Diaz. Deal with it.

230

My Grand Canadian girls Samantha, Jessica Lee and Ellie: all three of you are just great. There’s nothing more I can add to that. I will miss our bitchy messages to each other, Sam, but I think we’ll find a way to keep it going. Ellie, I will see your fine ass around. There’s no way a bond like ours can be broken by time.

167

My breakfast buddies Ashleigh and Ashley: I apologise for not video chatting you when I had breakfast without you guys so I could keep our tradition alive, but lack of data got in the way. Alternatively, it was too awkward to do it in front of a bunch of old people. When I slather strawberry-flavoured cream cheese on my toasted bagel, I will think about our times together and smile.

To my Kiwi boys Johnny and Hadleigh: kia kaha. It was pre-determined that I would love you guys, and y’all didn’t let me down. Hadleigh – thank you for being mine and Sasha’s protector in the now infamous haunted house experience, and for being an all-around top bloke. Johnny – you stay true to yourself, because you’re a rare light in this dark world of ours.

jj
My Contiki Awards Committee 
JJ, Amber and Amy: I have no worries about you girls, because I know we’ll stay close friends in the future. I’m so glad I had the chance to get close with all three of you, and am happy about the experiences we shared together: from our near-death experience at Pie for the People, to mine and Amber’s “proposition” in Chicago. We truly lived Contiki with #noregrets.

418

To the backbone of the tour Bree and Sasha: if you two weren’t on tour, I can guarantee it wouldn’t have been as near as fun as it was with you. Both of you clicked so naturally, and it was easy to see why; you both radiated this positive euphoric energy that was hard to miss. I’ll miss our intense grinding sessions on the DF, our late night hair dyeing sessions (Bree), and making seemingly-innocent-but-really-ditzy comments to the disappointment of others (Sasha).

469To the other members of the Thunder from Down Under crew Veegz and Tarni: it was such a delight having the opportunity to meet you and get to know the both of you. Veegz, stay as beautifully blunt as ever, and keep up your outspoken crusade against animal cruelty. Tarni, you’re just going to have to move to the east coast to catch up with those of us over here. It has to be done.

434

To my handsome boys – whom I am now dubbing “The Three Musketeers – LukeMax and Jacko: getting to spend 14 of the 26 days with you boys was a pleasure. Luke, you’re a genuinely beautiful soul, and your girlfriend is lucky to have someone like you. Also, I need to mention the elephant in the room, which is your big, round, perky butt. Max AKA ‘Arry, probably one of the best people I’ve ever met. You’re an amazing guy, and I want to protect you from the world forever so you will never lose that smile of yours. Jacko, while we may have started off rocky (because you’re an asshole, but also because I’m a stubborn bitch), we ended up okay. I mean, we almost got married, so that’s saying something? As you may know, I’m a needy fiancee, so you’re gonna have to deal with that for the rest of your life. Soznotsoz.

To my true blue Aussie blokes Ben and Jeremy: we’re proof that polar opposites can still get along. I almost had nothing in common with the both of you, but grew to truly love you for who you were. Can’t wait to attend your 21st Jeremy, so you can introduce your father to the enigma that is Nikki.

Bec, Jess and Becky: thank you to the former two for teaching me how to play the wheel spinning game at Harrah’s. Bec, thank you for sharing your “experiences” with me so I could (happily) live vicariously through you. And Becky, you beautiful Geordie soul, thank you for giving me the most intense massage of my life, and for being a pure radgie like. Proper mint like you are.

The dynamic duo of Hayley and Mish: you girls were sent from the heavens to join this tour, and I’m glad I met the both of you. Hayley, thank you for helping me through my first experience playing blackjack at a table. Mish, thank you for dancing with me and promptly kissing me afterwards. It was great.

To my awesome Contiki leaders Phil and Ray: thank you for giving me the best Grand Northern experience I could have ever asked for, and for letting me be me. Even if Phil refused to play Clueless for me, I wouldn’t have changed anything about my tour. Plus, I will never forget to bring ma trash.

572
And to my wonderful host and friend in LA Serena and your beautiful mother Beatrice: thank you for having Kate and I on our Contiki detox. You guys were the best and more than accommodating, and I’m glad that after meeting you last year, we were able to keep our friendship alive.

And to everyone else on tour who contributed to this awesome experience, simply thank you.

422

Until my next adventure…

– by Noah La’ulu

#NKinNA16: Part 1 – Just Us Two

You knew another holiday post was coming… I couldn’t be contained to one continent.

Ever since my last trip to the US of A, I have been itching to get back onto those heinous, long plane trips to explore something different. Meeting her on my last trip on Contiki, Kate and I began planning our next holiday, having been bitten by the travel bug badly. One would think that after exploring the southern half of USA that we would head off to do something different, like Europe or South America. But as we looked into our European options, something told me that I had to do the rest of the USA that I didn’t touch with my previous trip.

A few discussions later, and Kate and I had decided that it was time for us to explore the northern half of USA. Squeezing in small visits to Salt Lake City (solely to visit my grandad and other family members) and Nashville (because it’s my damn favourite city in the world), Kate and I decided to do Contiki’s Grand Northern tour – the opposite of the Grand Southern that we did last year.

001

What began as a discussion in early January of this year recently turned into reality, and on August 26, 2016, Kate and I flew out of Sydney and touched down in Los Angeles to begin our trip – #NKinNA16 (Nikki and Kate in North America).

On our plane trip, we were sat next to a handsome man returning home from an Australian trip to go back to work as a physical education teacher. We were quick to befriend the friendly chap, and this would set the tone for the next six weeks.

Our first stop in USA was Salt Lake City, Utah, which would serve as our jetlag stop after getting absolutely no sleep whatsoever on the plane. As mentioned in my travel posts from last year, I have family here which is the only reason why I would come back here because it’s the most boring city in the world, so it was nice to be back. We spent our first night napping, eating, and sleeping some more, all the while fighting the crippling jet lag that had hit us.

004

On our second day, we were graciously shown around by my cousins Aidan and Elle, and her husband Nate. Our first stop of interest? Cheesecake Factory, of course. And while Salt Lake doesn’t have much to offer in the form of sightseeing attractions (unless you consider Temple Square a sight…), it does have some great shopping. However, this was our first stop, and I wasn’t about to blow all my money on my first city.

006

After exploring this boring city – and catching some pretty damn cool Pokemon along the way – Kate and I bid farewell to my cousins and the next day, caught up with my uncle, aunt, grandad and his wife. As my sole surviving grandparent, I have a special bond with him, and was happy to sit there and listen to all of the stories in his life. With a lunch-time flight, we left Salt Lake and moved onto our next stop – Nashville, Tennessee.

This city is my favourite city in the world, and one of the reasons behind this would be Two Bit, a bar that encourages you to play free-to-play video games while you eat, drink, and be otherwise social with the people there. With friendly staff, good food, and Nintendo 64 on tap, this is probably my most favourite bar in the world, or at least in North America.

038

A quick visit to the Johnny Cash Museum and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, it was night time, and I had the privilege of catching up with a long time friend Emma, whom I hadn’t seen in almost eight years. Isn’t it amazing how small the world is, and how great long-lasting friendships are? I can’t expand on how great both of the aforementioned museums are. It doesn’t matter how many times I visit the Johnny Cash Museum, I will cry every time. And I thoroughly enjoyed the new Blake Shelton exhibition at the Hall of Fame and Museum.

034

The following day – after another mournful visit to Two Bit – we flew to our last destination as a duo before starting our Contiki tour… the infamous New York City, New York. Now, I had never been to NYC before, so this was my first time. As per usual, I was expecting great things from this city since everyone goes on about how bloody fantastic it is.

And boy it was.

041

With three nights and two days in NYC, we had a lot of touristy stuff to accomplish. The first on everyone’s NYC list should obviously be Central Park, so with the help of a very informative hotel receptionist, we boarded a hop-on-hop-off and saw what NYC had to offer. After visiting a couple of museums and quite literally chucking a spreadie in front of someone’s tomb, Kate and I explored Central Park the only way one should: via horse carriage.

070

The horse’s name was Snow White and she was a friendly girl, albeit a bit scary when her big chompers were out to play. The carriage rider showed us all the celebrity hot spots around Central Park, and where certain films were filmed throughout the park, and we sat in this carriage for a full 50 minutes looking around this beautiful landmark.

Our Central Park visit was followed by the most important New York City attraction of all: visiting the Tiffany’s. So many floors of diamonds and jewelery and more diamonds and more silvery goodness. Urrrrrgh. With a quick visit to the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center, our first day in NYC was done.

093

Next up: Times Square. In my sweet and humble opinion, Times Square is its own world in a world. Words cannot explain just how fascinating Times Square is, so I hope this expertly taken panoramic shot can do the trick.

083

Another personal check off on my bucket list was to recreate the Sleepless in Seattle scene at the top of the Empire State Building, but when I got to the top, it looked a lot more different than I had expected… so I had no idea what I was doing. At least I go to stand at the same place as the legend himself Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan the uber babe.

086

After some much needed sustenance, a random visit to the Museum of Sex ensued. Yes. You read that right. There is an actual thing called a Museum of Sex. I don’t really have to explain what was in the Museum of Sex, but I should say that if you’re expecting a watered-down version of a sex museum, then you would be wrong. The first thing you walk into is an old-school style painting of vaginal penetration. Yep.

It’s tradition that the day before your Contiki tour starts, you meet the night before for a “Kickstart” meeting. Basically the tour manager just gives you the 411 of what you’re doing, gets you to sign these emergency forms, and Bobsurbloodyuncle. Finishing our time in NYC off at the kickstart meeting, Kate and I bid farewell to the beautiful city of NYC with some mediocre af Thai food and bed.

This was just the beginning of my adventures, so stay tuned for more #NKinNA16 travel spam, as Nikki and Kate take North America.

– by Noah La’ulu

You Know What Sh!ts Me?: Facebook Laundromats

You know what really shits me?

Today’s topic: Facebook laundromats… in other words, people who constantly put their dirty laundry on Facebook.

When Facebook politely asks you in that little clever box at the top of your newsfeed “What’s on your mind?”, they don’t really want to know what’s on your mind. It is not an invitation to delve deep into your inner psyche and let it all out for the whole world and their pets to find out.

No one cares about your dirty laundry. Not this chick. She's reading a book. (SOURCE: Gideon's Flickr photostream)

No one cares about your dirty laundry. Not this chick. She’s reading a book. (SOURCE: Gideon’s Flickr photostream)

Some people have trouble differentiating between what is appropriate to post on Facebook and what isn’t appropriate… and uploading a status talking about how your boyfriend left you and you wish nothing but death upon him is actually very inappropriate. But who cares? Whatever works, right?

WRONG.

What you are doing is creating unnecessary drama by putting your personal problems out there for everyone to see. What you are doing is giving people more ammunition to use against you in case the opportunity ever arise. What you are doing is making a complete fool of yourself by turning to social media for sympathy when your best friend is just a simple phone call away.

My philosophy on this is simple: if you are my friend, I care about you. If you have a problem, I will do my best to help you with your problem. If you post this problem on Facebook and expect sympathy from me, stop wasting your time because zero fucks are given about your issue when you’re waving it around on social media.

You know the saying (however it goes)… “people don’t care about your problems, they just want to know what’s going on.” It applies to this very case. What you may think is a very cryptic status could very well paint a larger picture than you intended. “Feels alone :(” could easily translate into “My girlfriend won’t spend time with me because I’m an arsehole and now I regret it.” Your attempt at being incognito failed. Maybe you would have been better off not saying anything at all, huh?

What shits me even more is when these people who air their dirty laundry for the world to see are confused as to why people think it’s okay to involve themselves into their drama. I don’t know, whose fault is it – the idiot who made it publicly viewable for everyone to see and therefore have an opinion on, or Barney the dinosaurs? Definitely not Barney. If you don’t want people to involve themselves in your personal drama, DON’T INVOLVE THEM BY PUTTING IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA. It’s really quite simple, actually.

If you have problems like I’m sure everyone does, seek out help personally. Even if we live in the digital age, driving to your mate’s place or calling your mum late at night to help you has not gone out of fashion. In fact, I’m sue you could resolve a problem easier that way than asking however many Facebook friends you have for advice because they won’t care… they’ll just want to know what’s going on.

So, everyone on Facebook, I have five words for you that should have a long-lasting effect on you: think about what you post.

– by Noah La’ulu