I discovered Newcastle's Pro Wrestling scene by accident.
The post popped into my social media feed about two or three years ago and I've been hooked ever since.
It has become a series I've been working on for years, documenting this growing subculture in and around Newcastle.
That first post was for a Halloween bout at Charlestown Bowling Club. I thought it could be cool to check out, but I wasn't rostered on with the Newcastle Herald and I didn't know how I could get inside.
I rang around to try to find out who might be involved in organising the event.
Whether you're an amateur shooter or a pro working in for a big newspaper or magazine, getting inside an event is often just having the persistence to find out who is in charge and then having the courage to actually ring them up.
Sometimes organisers are happy to have a photographer come along and supply images in exchange for the access. Sometimes they are just happy to see you there - but it is rare that they will approach us as photographers out of the blue.
On assignment with Simone De Peak: 100 photos in 2019 by the Herald's renowned head photographer
I fell in love with pro wrestling the minute I arrived at Charlestown Bowling Club.
It was Halloween and everyone - the crowd, not just the wrestlers - were all in these incredible costumes. The fans are so passionate about the sport. And the wrestlers have these huge personalities in the ring. The actual wrestling is amazing to watch - these guys are full-on athletes.
I love this photo because, even though it is not a wrestling move, this guy is so animated - there's so much colour and pop and energy.
I have been building this small body of work for a while now. I'll go sometimes out around Gateshead where there are a few smaller, more intimate bouts - but they are just as good because you can see younger wrestlers coming through.
It's a body of work that's growing and it's fun.
We cover a lot of serious events as part of our job, so it's nice sometimes to have a little bit of fun.
- Simone De Peak
HOW I SHOT IT: Canon EOS 1D X, 16-35mm II lens at 19mm, f/5, 1/200 sec. Camera-mounted flash