One of the true moments of terror or joy in a DMDU ring occurs the second the Safety Dance hits the speaker system. Men without Hats might seem a touch out of the ordinary, but it’s the calling cry of the Anti-Deathmatch Party. Mr. Wrestling Mitchell Wright and his cohorts have been crusading against deathmatch wrestling since the company’s inception and disrupting the flow of the company. Snubbed and loathed by most, I have given Wright the chance to speak and explain more of the ideals of the Anti-Deathmatch Party. So, sit back, relax and enjoy as we talked to one of deathmatch wrestling’s biggest detractors.
I have to start with the generic, please tell me a bit about yourself. Who is Mr. Wrestling Mitchell Wright?
“You see, Mr. Wrestling Mitchell Wright is someone who has decided to take his studies of the craft of wrestling and used that as his point for his message of deathmatch is wrong. It’s straightforward, it is simple. You see, I have studied it, I have learned from some of the best, and I want that to be shown to the masses. I decided to do that in the forefront, in the No Man’s Land of Deathmatch Downunder because I have realised sometimes to take your message, you don’t scream it in an alleyway. You scream it in a crowded room of someone who doesn’t want to listen.”
Why exactly do you detest deathmatches so much?
“For years and years and years, we’ve been told that wrestling itself was brutal, it was brutality, it was barbarism, it was barbaric, and then we have deathmatch. Deathmatch itself is something more than a freakshow onstage in front of a loud crowd, in front of a live studio audience sometimes. It came from the backyard and made its way to the underground mainstream.”
We’re seeing a spike in hybrid deathmatch fighters, from Joel Bateman and Alex Colon to AKIRA who are proficient technical wrestlers as well as “barbaric.” Have you not seen this shift from the backyard slugfest?
“I can understand that, but I don’t understand one thing. If you were a technical wrestler as Mr. Bateman, as Mr. Colon, as AKIRA, why would you put your body, your blood, your sweat, your soul on the line for some cheering monkeys and apes in the crowd who want nothing more than more violence, more bloodshed, and more insanity to the point that they would cheer if you died in the centre of the ring? That’s where it’s going to get to. We need to find that limit, that literal glass ceiling that they will try to smash through. It’s insanity. Why would you put yourself in a position where it might, “might” kill you for someone else’s entertainment? Where you’re ruining the sanctity of wrestling.”
But is that in of itself not a form of storytelling, which is a grand part of the art of wrestling?
“I understand that storytelling can take many paths, some go by high fantasies, some by sci-fi novels, but deathmatch wrestling itself is nothing more than a snuff film put in the middle of a ring. I could understand the triumph through tragedy or prevailing through the literal mud, the hatred, and the warzone you have created using stuff you find from your local hardware store or your farmyard site. Why would you try to do that time and time again and ruin everything that has been put forward through centuries of fighting, through centuries of one-upmanship? Where will it end?”
I did expect you to wince there saying snuff considering your first foray into Deathmatch Downunder and one Snuff King…
“I do wince at previous failings, but if you do not fail, how do you learn? Yes, I decided to go out there and talk. I went out there and preached my message as some so proclaimed but in the end, what I did was put my point out there and some moron with a mask being showboated around by his insane older brother. I have been dropped and lost, yes, I understand I lost, but I did gain something quite valuable in the end. I gained a party, the start of a party in the Cut-throat, Hector Jones. I did gain something very valuable that day, I lost, but I gained.”
I admire the professionalism as you’ve nicely moved us on to my next point. That was the formation. You started with your Protégé Hector Jones, how did you come to form this group you have?
“It has become a gathering of the masses on the outskirts. You had me who decided to put my body, my mind, and my voice on the line by standing in the literal lion’s den of DMDU and saying I’d do whatever it takes to end this insanity from continuing on. There, reaching out was Mr. Jones himself. Jones helped me to the back, and we decided to talk. I realised their point of view matched with mine. They have done nothing but train and train and train and got nowhere. They were going here have a handshake, have a hotdog, help us move the ring, and you might be noticed. In the end, he realised you can only be noticed so much before you have to take what is rightfully yours. We have worked together quite well, I believe.
How do you look for members of the Anti-Deathmatch Party? Obviously, with Jones, it was the student/mentor meeting of the minds. Since then, you’ve gained two other members. We’ll start with Caity Luxe, how did she come to be in your little group?
“Miss Luxe, the baddest one around, they reached out to me when their position was stricken as they proclaimed at DMDU and replaced by someone else. We were meant to go face to face, and they gave that position to someone else. I could understand the frustrations. Could you imagine working your backside off to be replaced? I was like, how about we remove the replacement and take what is rightfully ours?”
That doesn’t really sound like a bad motivation. I disagree with the actions but the rationalisation is sound enough. The last and newest member, who appeared at the end of 2021 was the Loverboy Lochy Hendricks. That was quite a shock to everyone. How has he impacted the group and your standing, having someone of that notoriety?
“I have nothing but respect for the Loverboy, Mr. Hendricks. You see, Loverboy has been able to change us from a party with a leader to a group, a troupe. A morale shift has changed us, and I respect that. When I was there, I was nothing more than a preacher being smashed down to the ground, smeared across the cobblestone with two disciples. Now, we are a kinship, a band of brothers marching towards war. Our visions have shifted the correct way where we decided our voices weren’t enough. We had to take action. Yes, I said before that we’d taken action by taking back what was rightfully ours with Miss Luxe, we decided to dips our toes in the water a bit. We realised with the hands of Loverboy, the voice, the charisma, and also the aptitude we’ve gone from nothing more than a laughing stock to a serious threat.”
The problem is, with that kind of status you’ve incurred a lot of enemies. Does that not bother you? You have the entire deathmatch locker room gunning for you…
“Have you ever heard the statement, “If you do not make enemies along the way, do you really believe what you stand for is just? Do you believe what you stand for is right or wrong?” If you think along the way you’re going to be everyone’s friend, that you’re going to do something right for this world. I don’t mind that I have Mr. Bateman, the Nobody, Callen Butcher, the best nickname as it suits them perfectly, York, Damian Rivers. I don’t mind that they’re after us. Sometimes you have to ruffle the coup to crack some eggs.”
Originally around this time, you were set to face Big Deathmatch Energy, have you still managed to gameplan for when that eventually happens?
“Yes, we have decided to sit down as a team and discuss what is the right thing for us. We understand we are being thrown to the wolves; we have been thrown out of our elements. The one thing we’ve decided as a team is to pick them off one by one. But I’m not going into any more depth just because they could read this and listen to our plans as to plan for the plan. I could give them a red herring but give a man a fish, they eat for a night.”
So, you’re not worried about Big Dude Energy?
“I have made the biggest of those dudes go to sleep and the other is a buffoon that goes around wearing beer goggles. Trust me, I’m not too worried about Big Dude Energy.”
The other thing that intrigues me is, your group has used more deathmatch implements than half the DMDU roster. I’ve seen you drop someone on a cut-can board and you’ve technically broken more glass be it on a ring canvas than on someone’s head, do you not find that somewhat hypocritical that you use the means of those you hate the most?
“It’s ironic that you said it was quite hypocritical that we brought broken glass into a ring. We removed an aspect from them. We removed the glass from the equation. Does that make us deathmatch wrestlers? Nay, I say nay. What we did was remove their purest joy of untapped violence. As for dropping Mr. Bateman onto the board, it was a sign of giving them what they want. He wants to feel pain, we put him in pain. He had that there in a match, we may as well use it. Stupid does what stupid does. I don’t find it hypocritical because we have won in matches before without the use of weapons. I hear the bell and we wrestle to the point someone taps out or cannot get up after being pinned. I do not use a weapon to do so. Smashing it in the ring was just a sign that we want to see it no more in any match.”
You have also taken more light tubes than a lot of the DMDU roster granted you were in a hazmat suit…
“I had to be sewn up. I had three stitches from that brutal attack. I do not want to remember that. Strike this question from the statement! Next question!”
With your Anti-Deathmatch leanings in a hybrid deathmatch company, have you found you have often been snubbed out of opportunities? Especially given your recent Twitter attack over Tag Title opportunities. With a mostly uncheckered record, do you find the Anti-Deathmatch Party overlooked in the Title scene?
“I will not say there’s favouritism, but I will also say we are fighting an uphill battle. We are like that old Greek God, Sisyphus himself, pushing the stone up a hill so to speak. I don’t understand how BDE so raucously gets a title shot after tapping out. It’s quite hypocritical when they say they want to be a wrestling company, but don’t give wrestlers their due. We are still waiting for our title shot. We lost in the tournament, but we have done nothing but get better and stronger since then. Once we have that title shot, we will leave victorious.”
Does it not bother you that the company could have some fun at your expense with the title shot stipulations? Any match could be contested under any ruleset. You could win those titles then find yourself defending them in a no-rope barbed-wire tag team deathmatch…
“I love the idea, this concept that they may twist it to their own sick and twisted personal gains, I get that, but here’s the thing, we don’t need to show up if we don’t like the game they’re trying to play on that court. If they want to put barbed wire around the rope, we won’t be there. If they want to give us the best Australia has to offer, we will be. Don’t try to change the court we’re playing on. Give us a traditional ring, and we’ll give you proper wrestling.”
The Tag Team Titles are definitely in the Anti-Deathmatch Party’s future?
“Anyone who says they go to a company and doesn’t want gold is being ludicrous. Of course, we’re aiming for the gold. The tag titles are the only thing of value in DMDU. It’s only been stained once this week when I saw first-hand, they decided to kick the doors down so to speak by breaking more doors than you’d find in your normal hallway. Insanity.”
I can’t even lie; my neighbour has some doors outside from a renovation and I just see people going through them…
“Whoever decides to bring foreign objects into a wrestling ring is nothing more than a moron.”
Then there will never be a Mr. Wrestling Fans Bring the Weapons deathmatch…
“It would definitely be fans take at least ten steps back from the ringside because I do not want to even smell you.”
Is there the potential that we’ll see Mr. Wrestling, World Heavyweight Champion?
“There is always the possibility that I will go for the World Heavyweight Title, but let’s face it, if we can’t even get our due as challengers for the tag team titles, what’s the possibilities that DMDU will give Mr. Wrestling his due.”
Despite it being a company full of people you detest, is there anyone that sticks out that you’d like to test wrestling-wise?
“I would like any of those mud-show, freakshow wrestlers, “wrestlers” as they like to call themselves, to step into the ring and put down those objects they call weapons. I would challenge any of them to a traditional wrestling match. At the last show, Roll On, Mr. Hendricks decided to take on the Mad Dog himself and he really really surprised us. He kept reaching for a weapon, a chair, in the end, that cost him. He really got to see a chair first-hand. Spoiler alert Mad Dog got put down.”
“Yes, puns. Clever wordplay.”
I take it you must be livid that international deathmatch wrestlers are starting to invade DMDU. Starting with Alex Colon the Bloodfighter himself…
“We sent one to Australia and one returns. Nothing more than annoyance and hatred fills my personal soul that we have to bring Colon over. Look, they can come over, I’ve seen their work. I do watch some of their work to try and work out what makes them tick. If they think they’re going to come over here and “show what they’re made of,” trust me, we will be watching and picking our spots.”
There is one thing I want to know about the Anti-Deathmatch Party and yourself, why the Safety Dance?
“The Safety Dance came as a bit of a joke at our expense. You see, when I came out there and heard they’d switched my music to the Safety Dance, I took it on the chin and we took ownership of it. I completely understand that people laugh at it, but it’s come to a point where they will hear that song and hear nothing more than change. We are trying to bring the sanctity of wrestling back to the masses and to remove weapons and foreign objects. We are trying to keep that place safe. Some people call it a dance. Other’s a tango. Some call it ballet. Others call it a spectacle. So, in the end, Safety Dance is rather fitting. Don’t worry, some things can change, but the Safety Dance will stay with us forever and ever to haunt those who like that twisted, creepy, and pure insanity that they call deathmatch.”
I’m glad you decided to keep it. It has become the Anti-Deathmatch Party anthem. When you hear it there’s no mistaking what’s coming or the audience groans for the at matter…
“It’s very, I don’t know how else to explain it, entertaining that it sort of brings them pain. That they go “oh no, here they are again.” Here’s the lesson that you need to learn, sometimes people stand up and fight for what they believe is right. I believe what is right is that wrestling should stay being wrestling. If you want to go to your local hardware store or go to your parent’s kitchen to bring out utensils, keep them there. If you want to have a brawl in the middle of the streets, keep it there. I want to see you test your mettle, test your might, in the middle of those four corners. In that squared circle and keep those damn foreign objects away from it.”
That ties in nicely with the last question I had. What is your dream vision for Deathmatch Downunder? Well, it probably wouldn’t be called Deathmatch Downunder anymore, would it?
“I believe if you do not listen to the past, you are doomed to repeat it. I don’t care if they want to keep it as DMDU. My true dream is to keep wrestling pure. I’m going to give them their dues, and I will say with some ounce of respect, I’m proud of some of the things they’ve implemented. Gender is a construct in their eyes, and I believe everyone should be given the same rite of passage. You should not be put in a bubble for that reason, and I respect that. I believe everyone should have their own safe space, but it’s insane that they believe, that safe space should be in the middle of such bloodshed and ultraviolence. My true goal is to not be used as a laughing stock.
“Our true goal is for people to say, “Did you go to that DMDU show? It was a spectacle. There was true showmanship, true sportsman no sports person-ship.” If I’m going to pay their dues right, I might as well follow those rules myself. I want DMDU, or whatever its new acronyms would be the place people want to go. Somewhere where you can take your children to if need be or for the future to have the goal to be at instead of fallen angels ending up there to claim some last hurrah or some freaks or some hmm outcasts as I’ve been told or just sadomasochists trying to find some form of entertainment and claim it as wrestling. That can go the way of the dodo so to speak. What I’d really like to see is that to be the pinnacle of Australian wrestling. The throne is ready to be taken. We can dethrone and take the crown as number one.”
I can get behind a lot of that. Are there any closing remarks you’d like to make?
“I could sit here and talk your ear off, but my closing remark is this, my name is Mr. Wrestling Mitchell Wright. By my side are my brethren, the Cut-Throat Hector Jones, the Baddest Caity Luxe, and the Loverboy Lochy Hendricks. We are now the frontline in the things that are going to come. We are here as the four… no that would be too cheap. We are the party of change. We are all things right to stop all the wrongs that have been done in Deathmatch Downunder. We are ready to put our foot down and press on harder and stronger and much more ruthlessly than we were before.”
Mitchell Wright Merch available here