WRESTLING has a long and rich history in Bradford, with some of the sports biggest British names performing in the district over the years.

On Saturday, professional wrestling returns to the district, when New Generation Wrestling perform at Pudsey Civic Hall in front of a near-sell out crowd.

Ahead of the show, I was invited down to train with a couple of the shows superstars to see if I had what it takes to cut it in the world of professional wrestling.

My initial thoughts were, due to wrestling being scripted, the slams and the falls wouldn’t hurt, but how wrong I was.

The first lessons were on how to fall properly to avoid getting injured, but hurling your body onto the floor of the ring still hurts.

But, strangely enough, the harder you slam into the ground, the less it hurts. In the lesson, I learnt basic rolls, falls, flips, grappling, headlocks, and even a body slam,.

The body slams and headlocks were fun to do, but less fun when you’re on the receiving end.

But what I learnt overall from training with wrestlers Dave Lewis and Bilal Ansari, who perform under the names David Graves and Amir Jordan, is the action is less about inflicting pain and more about putting on a show.

Seeing Bilal practising his drop kicks, flips and other high-flying moves showed how much practice and hard work goes into entertaining the crowds, and this hard work has seen NGW grow into one of Britain’s biggest wrestling brands.

Rich Dunn, who has run NGW for the past nine years, said: “West Yorkshire is like a second home to us, and we visit both Pudsey and Keighley two or three times a year.

“The thing about wrestling is it is always entertaining, and we have moved with the times so nowadays there is a lot more glitz and glamour outside the ring, and the action in the ring is a lot more acrobatic and high-flying than it used to be.

“People like having characters they can connect with, and that is what we try to do, building our shows around these characters.”

Also training with us was 18-year-old Kieran Sargeant from Laisterdyke, who has been involved with wrestling for a year and a half.

He said he has been a wrestling fan since he was around 11.

“I just decided I wanted to be a wrestler so started training and I’ve been really enjoying it,” he said.

“The athletic moves, especially jumping off the top rope, are probably my favourite parts of it.”

  • Do you have a challenge for 'Dangerous' Dave? Email your suggestions to our newsdesk at: newsdesk@telegraphandargus.co.uk