Half-wrestler and half pop-punk vocalist/bassist Mark Andrews made two separate headlines at this year’s Download Festival.
The music festival has been known to NXT fans in recent years as a unique venue for wrestling as something of a sideshow, but the two art forms on display rarely collided. It just seemed to be a reflection of the crossover between alternative music fans and avid wrestling nerds. Given that this is the place where pro-wrestling and pop-punk intersect, it makes sense that a man planted firmly in both worlds would come to be the center of attention, both for an excellent story beat and a legitimate scare.
The ultimate combination of his two professions (and my personal favorite moment of the weekend) was a genuinely surprising attack by perfect heel Pete Dunne in the middle of the Junior set. Given that Dunne’s character has a history of attacking his opponents before big matches – like, say, a bout over the UK Championship – and the performance was the last place anyone would expect Andrews’ wrestling life to creep in, this was an amazing story touch that instantly imbues Dunne with tons of heat and Andrews with just as much sympathy while also advertising the wrestling program to a segment of the crowd that may have only been there for the music. I have no doubt it drew at least a few unsuspecting fans to the match.
I was less excited to see his name pop back up in the context of a vague, frightened tweet hoping that he was going to be alright. Starting from the reaction and working my way backwards, it turns out that Andrews had taken a bad landing out of the ring in a tag match and, upsettingly enough, had to be stretchered away.
A lack of information for what felt like forever didn’t help the situation.
Thankfully, it eventually came out that Andrews suffered bruising on his neck, which is obviously unfortunate but nowhere near as bad as it could have been in that situation.
Overall, the combination of a brilliant angle and an emotional rollercoaster was a crash course in getting me invested in Mark Andrews. I’ve probably written a few articles now about how having wrestling spill into the outside world is my favorite kind of surprise, but it just never stops being effective.
More of this, please.
And more of Mark Andrews.
Written by Bobby Murphy (@RobertJMurph)
Image courtesy of WWE.com
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