At 22 years old, Kid Lykos, one half of #CCK, announced his retirement from active in-ring competition and it came as something of a shock to the fans gathered at Attack Wrestling’s Cathays event in April 2019.
With Chris Brookes recently confirming that Lykos had considered stopping after an earlier injury at PROGRESS and a subsequent shoulder injury that Lykos had suffered at Riptide Wrestling, the announcement was a reminder of the risks that every competitor takes when they step into the ring to entertain.
Lykos had an unfortunate run of injuries that some fans blamed on him being “made of glass”, “injury prone” and having a “risky style”. Reflecting on this period of time, Lykos said “realistically, I was wrestling on borrowed time” whilst speaking to Jim Smallman on the Tuesday Night Jaw Meets #CCK.
A clique of online fans may have brought their insight to bear on the young performer, but the truth is that Lykos was a victim of nothing more than an accident that caused an initial shoulder injury and aggravated by coming back too quickly. He wasn’t aware of how bad the initial injury was and he overcompensated to work around it (leading to a broken wrist). All he wanted to do, as with many of his peers and contemporaries, was get booked and do what he loves – entertaining the fans.
Kid Lykos hadn’t always been everyone’s favourite wolf and, as was revealed in the Flash Morgan Webster’s Wrestling Friends podcast, he revealed that “no-one saw the appeal of Lykos” and struggled to find the character he was meant to be.
It helped, of course, that Brookes is a master craftsman when it comes to in-ring action and Lykos was well showcased in their encounters. It was once said of Tim Burton that he is able to create real-life cartoons by his ability to skill as an auteur, and there’s an element of that to Brookes and Lykos – an ability to create outlandish sequences that amaze the audience and leave an indelible impression.
Until recently, Lykos didn’t speak, and this added to people’s love of him. Told to “shut up, Lykos” by his tag partner, Chris Brookes, in the wrong hands that’d be seen as bullying and humiliation, but the love towards Brookes, the enthusiasm of Lykos and, importantly for both, the playfulness with which they interacted was all the masterstrokes that this combination needed. When he finally spoke, it was much anticipated and added another string to Lykos’ ever-expanding bow of brilliance.
Very much as with his early days as “just another flippy tag team guy”, Lykos could have been “just another guy in a mask”, but he went on to embody Lykos. He continued to be the high-flying marvel that many saw in his earlier years but added a confident hard hitting ability to his arsenal. He blended humour and intensity, no doubt spurred on by the methods that had been such a success for Chris Brookes.
#CCK had such success that they were able to take their careers to newer heights with the discerningly critical audience of PROGRESS. From their debut to their final appearance, the reaction was exceptional. They performed regularly at Attack! Pro Wrestling, ICW, Defiant, Fight Club Pro, CHIKARA and Revolution Pro, amongst other places, across the years, even finding themselves at Big Japan during Fight Club Pro’s 2019 Project Tokyo show, where they faced Akira Tozawa & Meiko Satomura!
He found himself part of the “not a cult” Schadenfreude in Fight Club Pro and wXw, along with the likes of Brookes and Jonathan Gresham (the original CCK), Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis (Aussie Open), Timothy Thatcher and Walter (members of Ring Kampf), Lucky Kid and Jinny. A collective with a mix of styles and an impressive resume of their own, Lykos’ wasn’t lost in the mix and was every bit as integral.
That was the hallmark of Kid Lykos as a performer. He was always “integral”. Never overshadowed by the charisma and style of Chris Brookes, never just the whipping dog of his opponents and always humble and respectful, Lykos is a young man who many up-and-coming talents should look up to.
We may never get to see him face Drew Parker at Attack! Pro Wrestling, which would have been a beautiful send off for two former tag team partners and close friends, but Lykos isn’t an old dog being put out to pasture. Hopefully, he’s still going to have a role at wrestling shows across the country.