Nick Helm, previous The Wrestling champion.

The Wrestling 2017 preview

The Wrestling is back for another year of brutal grudge matches at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This year, creators Max & Ivan present a new centrepiece battle: a ladder match.

Meet Johnny 'Soft Shoe' Kearns

The story so far: Nish Kumar, who in 2015 was the devious manager of The Executioner (a terrifying masked figure who turned out to be none other than Bridget Christie) reveals that he's been working for a higher power all along; Johnny 'Soft Shoe' Kearns...

Trios Tag Chaos

The story so far: The head trainer of The Wrestling, Dan 'The Hammer' Head, has handpicked his two stand-out trainees to join him in battle. They are 'The Wrestler's Wrestler' Stu Goldsmith and 'Equal Pain' Jenny Bede. Together, they take on the forces of evil - the team of pro-wrestlers Zoe Lucas and the terrifying BULK, and the comedian formerly known as John Hastings who has finally embraced his true identity; Reggie Bannon, Steve Bannon's bastard Canadian son. What's more, all three are managed by Johnny 'Soft Shoe' Kearns, a man who'll stop at nothing to gain a victory...

Colt Cabana vs The Parrylel Parker

The story so far: 'The Parrylel Parker' Tom Parry made quite an impact when he debuted in the 20 Person Battle Royale last time round. Now he's back, in singles competition for the first time. He'll be accompanied to the ring by none other than his boss - Lord Gideon Grey. A seasoned wrestler, Grey is also a peer of the realm and sitting MP - since the expenses scandal, he's funded the upkeep of his stately home the best way he knows; via the parking tickets dished out remorselessly by his ward, Parry.

But Parry has perhaps the toughest challenge of them all; he's going one-on-one with one of the finest independent wrestlers in the world; Colt Cabana. Cabana sent word of his disapproval all the way from Chicago. Now both men are in Edinburgh, and set to collide...

The Seven Way Ladder Match... For The Championship

The story so far: In 2015, Ivan 'El Guapo' Gonzalez outlasted 19 other people to win the Battle Royale and claim the Championship. Now, he must defend it against 6 opponents at once in a ladder match, which can only be won by climbing the ladder and grabbing the belt from the rafters. He's going to face stiff competition.

There's Max Voltage, who is his comedy double-act partner (tickets to the Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated Max & Ivan: The Reunion available here) but also the man who defeated him in singles competition in 2015. There's Jody Fleisch, a seasoned veteran wrestler, who's disdainful of the very idea of battling comedians. There's 'The Prince of Mumbai' Rishi Ghosh, a delusional but dangerous competitor who has bought his way into the main event despite a prolific losing streak. There's Damien Worst - a man many will recognise as Richard Gadd, but reinvented in the flames of wrestling training as the most despicable man to have ever stepped into the ring.

There's James Acaster, humiliated at The Wrestling last time around - he was knocked unconscious the second he stepped into the Battle Royale, and lasted less than two seconds - who's out to prove himself. And then there's 'The Executioner' Bridget Christie - in the Battle Royale, she exited over the middle rope, not the top, so technically wasn't eliminated; she feels she should be the rightful champion already. And with the help of her manager - the maniacal Johnny 'Soft Shoe' Kearns - who's to say she won't be by the end of the night...