wrestling / Columns

Hamilton: Bang The Drum For Your Favourites – Remembering Casey Michael

September 4, 2020 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
Squared Circle Sirens Casey Michael

As an ecosystem, this wrestling hobby sure does have a lot of moving parts. First and foremost, without the wrestlers and promoters, there’d be no events for us to watch. Without the training schools, there’d be no new faces on the shows. Without the fans, there’d be no barometer for whether something is clicking or not.

We’re seeing in the current empty arena era of shows, just how important the live crowd reactions can be to confirm or refute a promoter’s plans – especially given the only other metric available right now (TV ratings) are far from a precise art. From that niche of fandom, you get the breed of fan who goes a step further. The kind of fan whose love of this hobby drives them to go a step or two further. In the non-creepy way.

They’ll hunt out shows that aren’t readily available on your cable or satellite box. In the olden days, they looked for tapes and DVDs. Nowadays, they’ll scour the web for shows featuring names that are fresh to the scene or are building their career, taking an interest while hopefully sharing their discoveries for the rest of the world.

Then you get the likes of Casey Michael. The kind of fan who went above and beyond, and in the process, became an integral part of the online wrestling community.

For someone who was such a proponent of women’s wrestling, Casey was extremely well connected – something that came across whenever it was “tryout time”, as Casey would invariably end up being the go-to guy for names and details of the names who were being looked upon. Hell, it didn’t even matter whether it was for NXT in Florida, the UK arm, or even tryouts overseas. It didn’t even need to be someone from the indies – somehow, Casey would know about them, and have his reporting spread across the web. Be it on Squared Circle Sirens, his short-lived Developmental Central site (a name that I perhaps shouldn’t have thrown his way – rhyming names aren’t always the best!), and across other outlets. Sometimes, even with credit!

In spite of all of that, Casey’s bread and butter was covering women’s wrestling and those around it. A niche of a niche that somehow to this day is still under reported. Yet, you never got the feeling that all of the plaudits Casey got was by default, because he was “the only guy doing it.” A simple look at the names from within wrestling who paid tribute to him: Charlotte Flair. Deonna Purrazzo. Nikki Bella. Thunder Rosa. Killer Kelly. Nikki Cross. Kylie Rae. Taya Valkyrie. Peyton Royce. Madison Rayne. Natalya. Nicole Matthews. Carmella, and oh so many more. Scrolling through Twitter for those names felt like an endless list, which just showed how well respected he was both from those on both sides of the curtain.

While Casey was putting over wrestlers, he was fighting a fight that led to multiple surgeries and recoveries, some of which he shared in graphic detail on his Twitter. Yet in spite of all of that, he always remained upbeat and positive. Not the forced-positivity that pervades some areas of the community, to the point where you question the sincereity, but genuine positivity about those who deserved it. The kind of positivity that made it nigh-on impossible to dismiss anything that he said – because you knew the criticisms were genuine.

Casey’s passing leaves a massive whole in a wrestling “media” scene that’s already been decimated this year with the losses of Scott Bowden, Chris Hyatte and our own Larry Csonka – and while it’s always better to be the first of something than the “next” of anything, we can all learn a lot from Casey. Whatever your fandom, whoever it is for, make sure people know about it. In a respectful way. Bang that drum loud – whether it’s for a top star that everyone knows about, someone who’s on the rise and has a hardcore fanbase, or perhaps someone who’s just starting out.

Everyone in this industry has to start somewhere – and you’ll be surprised just how much effect one person boosting their efforts can have on a finished product. If we could all be a little bit like him, then this hobby would be a much brighter place.