AN investigating has been launched after complaints about a “death match” in which bloodied wrestlers attacked each other with a variety of weapons, including a garden strimmer and glasses.

According to reports, families were left cowering for cover during the show at the New Seaham Conservative Club in Seaham, County Durham, on April 29.

The headline act at the Colliery Championship Wrestling (CCW) event featured a bout between wrestlers Ronnie Thatcher and Blizzard, which "escalated" as both men left the ring and attacked each other.

The Northern Echo: Wrestlers smashed glass over each other during the 'death match' Picture: BBCWrestlers smashed glass over each other during the 'death match' Picture: BBC

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Footage taken at the event showed the two performers being cut with the gardening tool and having glass lighting tubes smashed over them, as the audience of about 80 people watched on just yards from the violence.

James Barrass of CCW reportedly apologised claimed the use of weapons during the bout happened without his prior knowledge.

He told the BBC "Things can sometimes not go to plan. Obviously there was a little bit more that went down," he said.

"I spoke to the two guys afterwards. We had discussions and obviously that will not be happening again."

The Northern Echo: A garden strimmer was used during the 'death match' at Seaham Conservative Club Picture: BBCA garden strimmer was used during the 'death match' at Seaham Conservative Club Picture: BBC

He added: "We have apologised but how many times do you say sorry? How many times do you have to be penalised in life?"

Teesside-based Twitch streamer and wrestler Benji brought attention to the incident on said while so-called death matches were popular in some contexts, they were inappropriate for children to witness.

He said: "I've never seen this in my time in wrestling," he said.

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"I've been involved for seven years and I've never seen this type of ultra-violence in front of a family audience.

He disputed some claims that it was spontaneous, saying: "We have seen the packs of light tubes under the ring and the strimmer.

The Northern Echo:

"I would know. If I was a promoter and someone bought a strimmer to a show I would know about it. I've worked for 20 companies in the UK and this is something that doesn't get past promotions.

“The vast amount of light tubes they had on that show is ridiculous.

A "death match" is a style of hardcore wrestling in which participants use a wide range of objects and weapons.

The format was popular throughout the 1990s with promoters such as WWF (which became WWE) and ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) hosting hardcore matches and championships.

A Durham Constabulary spokeswoman said: "We are working with Durham County Council's licensing team after a number of complaints were received by the local authority in relation to an event at Seaham Conservative Club on 29 April. Inquiries are ongoing."

Joanne Waller, Durham County Council’s head of community protection, said: “We can confirm we have been made aware of concerns about a wrestling event at New Seaham Conservative Club on 29 April.

"Our licensing and health and safety teams are currently investigating and it would be inappropriate to comment further while these enquiries are ongoing.”

The Northern Echo contacted Mr Barrass and the New Seaham Conservative Club for comment. 

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