Former WWE superstar Jack Swagger had his first 5 Star Wrestling brawl out of the ring when a press conference to announce a new arenas touring UK TV show turned into a punch up.
The American, who will grapple for the UK brand under his real name Jake Hager, caused tempers to flare when he told British wrestlers on the bill that crowds would only really be there to see the likes of him.
‘English Lion’ Eddie Ryan roared back and the two fighters, due to face one another in the ring, ended up on the floor in a scrap which resulted in a hole being punched through the wall.
As other wrestlers stepped in, many trying to pull them apart, a large branding sign promoting 5 Star Wrestling was smashed up.
TICKETS: 5 Star Wrestling weekly shows, to be shown live on the new TV channel FreeSports, will tour UK arenas in Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle, Belfast, Aberdeen, Manchester, Birmingham, Dundee, Blackburn and Cardiff, starting in Liverpool on February 1 - full details below. Tickets are from £16.80, with VIP tickets also available including meet and greet photos opportunities, at www.5starwrestling.co.uk.
Other WWE greats on the bill include Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam and John Morrison, who will grabble with British stars including TV's Love Island beefcake Adam ‘Flex’ Maxted.
Former WWE world champ Jake, who will face Brit Eddie in the ring on the first show in Liverpool, said after their press conference scrap at Sheffield Arena: “We’e unfinished business now. I’m looking forward to ending this in the ring. There's going to be blood.
“5 Star wrestling is going to be huge, with weekly shows live on TV. It’s great to be part of it.”
Also headlining the Liverpool show will be 5 Star Champion John Morrison vs Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio vs 'Liverpool's Number 1' Zack Gibson.
Leeds own Oliver Biney - going under the ring name Rampage Brown - is also looking forward to the biggest fight of his 17-year career when he squares up to masked wrestling legend Rey Mysterio later on the tour, at Sheffield Fly DSA Arena on February 15. He also plays his home town of Leeds at the First Direct Arena on March 29.
Rampage, a 34-year old father of one who attended a development camp with WWE, said of his forthcoming battle with Mysterio: “I've had some big nights but this will be a career highlight. I admire Rey but I’m going to beat him in front of the home crowd.”
The groundbreaking weekly shows will be aired live to millions of homes from 7pm to 10pm every Thursday night on the new all-sports channel FreeSports.
A computer game will follow later this year.
A new 5 Star Wrestling column, sponsored by FreeSports, will keep fans up to date with all the upcoming action and results from next week in Johnston Press titles including The Star in Sheffield, Yorkshire Evening Post, Lancashire Evening News, Sunderland Echo, Edinburgh Evening News and Belfast Newsletter. There are also plans to broadcast the shows on Facebook Live.
Fans will be able to watch all the action live on TV, with repeats throughout the week, on FreeSports - on Freeview (ch 95), Sky (ch 424), Freesat (ch 252), Talk Talk TV (ch 95) and BT TV (ch 95) starting Thursday, February 1, 7pm to 10pm.
Dan Hinkles, creator and CEO of 5 Star Wrestling, said: “For the first time ever, wrestling fans here in the UK will have their own live TV series, filled with some of the biggest stars from around the world.
"This is the first ever wrestling TV series to be broadcast live on a weekly basis from the UK and the only live TV broadcast of wrestling anywhere in Europe.
"No more staying up until 4am on school-nights to see the main event. No more paying out for expensive subscription packages. It’s live 7-10pm, it’s free, it’s being broadcast from major arena’s all around the United Kingdom and it starts next month at the Liverpool Echo Arena.
"Our first show will see Liverpool’s own Zack Gibson battle former WWE champ and the greatest high-flyer of all-time, Rey Mysterio in the biggest match of Gibson’s career.
"John Morrison, who pinned current WWE Champion AJ Styles to become the first ever 5 Star Champion, will defend his title against none other than the TNA, WWE and ECW icon Rob Van Dam.
"ITV Love Island hunk and pro wrestler Adam Maxted loves to show off his body beautiful but will show no love or mercy to his opponent when he also wrestles live at Liverpool Echo Arena on February 1
"5 Star Wrestling will bring the most thrilling and physical sports entertainment action up close and personal to the huge numbers of fans who love and follow professional wrestling around the country."
5 Star Wrestling: LIVE 2018 Tour
Feb 1: LIVERPOOL - 5starwrestling.co.uk/events/liverpool
Feb 8: NEWCASTLE - 5starwrestling.co.uk/events/newcastle
Feb 15: SHEFFIELD - 5starwrestling.co.uk/events/sheffield
March 1: BELFAST - 5starwrestling.co.uk/events/belfast
March 8: ABERDEEN - 5starwrestling.co.uk/events/aberdeen
March 22: MANCHESTER - 5starwrestling.co.uk/events/manchester
March 29: LEEDS - 5starwrestling.co.uk/events/leeds
April 5: Birmingham - 5starwrestling.co.uk/events/birmingham
April 19: DUNDEE - 5starwrestling.co.uk/events/dundee
April 26: BLACKBURN - 5starwrestling.co.uk/events/blackburn
May 10: CARDIFF - 5starwrestling.co.uk/events/cardiff