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UK Scene #130



By: Saz
9 July 2004

Wrestling 101 UK Scene RSS Feed | Feeds

Yup, it’s that Saracen again, here to spread his much maligned opinion around and rubbing people up the wrong way, as usual! I spent this weekend reading some of Adam’s scenes, seeing as it’s only 20 weeks till the big 150, and I took a lot of comfort from the fact that he has received as much stick in the past as I have recently.

You see, everyone here at Wrestling 101 work their genitals, socks and undergarments off to provide you with a platform to discuss matters that they themselves have reported, Pabster is always busy working on something, if it is the newsletter, US News or moderating the TWO forums. Goldy works damn hard for what she has contributed to the UK scene, I know, I’ve tried to step into her boots and found myself somewhat lacking; it’s the heels. Adam himself has never come up short in his past UK scenes and no one, I mean no one, works harder than Kam, all for you.

So next time you talk to them and other contributors, don’t forget to say thanks…

As for me, you can jibe, discuss, berate, condemn, vilify, damn me to hell or dream about killing me in your sleep. I’ve heard it all in one night of wrestling, seriously, and to be honest you can do that to any wrestler, be they in the UK scene, US scene, Japan, Mexico, wherever, and they will always take it on the chin happily.

But the one thing wrestlers need most (next to the fans that is) is dedicated people like Wrestling 101 and 1Stopwrestling to carry the torch for them, to give them that extra support that they need, to help them be taken seriously and to keep people informed about local events.

I for one am eternally grateful for what they have done and I’d like to think that every wrestler feels the same.

I have noticed recently though, that the news section varies greatly when it comes to promoting events. There is a lot of discussion about how one should promote a show, ranging from spellcheckers to “getting in the American stars”, there is one thing that I think has been missed, selling the show.

I for one don’t feel that some companies, when they give out their press releases, do as much as they could to sell their shows to the people who are going to read it. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are some companies that do an excellent job, what I am talking about goes in a format like this.

Company x is performing
Venue name:
Venue date:

Match 1
Match 2
Etc.

Price, doors open
Ticket hotline.

I do it myself when posting for KSW when I am lazy, or have a lot to do, and I’m not criticising anyone either, it is a perfectly acceptable format. However, I am starting to believe that this is a pretty uninteresting way of selling a show, on the opposite end of the scale there are some promotions that go on and on and on….

So perhaps a median is needed, where the information is put across with a little colour to gain interest. It doesn’t need to be a life story, just enough to pique people’s interest. I think one of the best examples is this press release by WAW.

The WAW Championship Committee has today announced the following matches for the first show at the Atlantis Resort in Great Yarmouth on Monday, 26th July.

In a battle of the veterans, "Rowdy" Ricky Knight will be going up against current Cruiserweight Champion "The Tattooed Warrior" Steve Quintain.

"Gentleman" Jimmy Ocean will be facing his former student and current Eastern Counties Champion Hot Stuff.

In the first round of the Atlantis Cup tournament, The Kraft will be facing his old foe Rock Weiler, while rookie Karl Kragious will be facing "The Dark Angel" Ashe.

Also on the show, the U.K. Pitbulls will be competing for the vacant WAW Tag-Team Championship, against opponents due to be announced in the next few days.

“Ooh” I think, “Jimmy Ocean against his former student, has this Hot Stuff turned on his trainer?” It has gained my interest and curiosity and curiosity is a key element to drawing crowds to a show, at least in my opinion anyway.

Another element to promotion is the selling of video and DVDs, one thing that WAR are pretty proficient at, however, I did overhear someone complain about the prices involved in buying a recorded Independent show.

So, if you are one of the people who do complain about the prices of independent DVDs and videos, then let me break it down for you. Oh, for the converted I am preaching to, please bear with me.

If you want it cheap, then expect to get rubbish, rubbish quality, rubbish sound, no extra angles, a shaky camera and probably a badly printed label and a photocopied cover.

The simple fact is the cost of decent production is expensive. First in line is the camera, ok, most people have got that nice digital camera for Christmas that will film in sepia at the push of a button, but for that professional look we’re talking at least £1500 - £2000. However, a digicam will do fine, as long as you have something to keep it steady, so a tripod is an essential item, which depending on complexity and quality can cost between £30 and £500. That’s just one camera angle, you want more, you pay more!

If you expect to be serious about making a film then you will have to get into editing, doing it by tape will cost you an editing suite, a second hand one will be about £500, but the way now is to use a computer. That’s about £800 for a computer powerful enough and with a hard drive capacity to take raw, uncompressed digital film as well as between £50 and £800 for the software.

I have been told that the current “accepted” way of creating VHS copies is mass recording from a DVD Master. DVD is digital, where videotape is analogue and can degrade through each copy (known as a generation), recording from the DVD will produce purer quality copies to tape. With this in mind, a DVD master has to be created.

DVD writers are a pain in the ass, currently there are two formats vying for the home burning market, DVD -R and DVD +R, both of these are incompatible with some DVD players, so you have to burn in both formats. As DVD blanks cost about £20-30 for 5 and the writer at cheapest is £50, but you are scraping the barrel there, we’re talking serious money just to produce a copy! However, you can buy in bulk to make it cheaper, but this can lead to an excessive amount of dud discs.

Then there is printing costs for covers, DVD labels etc, if you sum that all up then to make a decent copy you would have to sell hundreds to make any sort of return on that investment.

Then, if you are an independent film company, you have to add the 10-30% profit for the company who’s copyrighted material it is, as each company that puts on a recorded show has intellectual copyright over the performance and really has their right to a cut of the profit, which is pretty hard to contest as you’ve recorded the evidence!

Also, because most DVD writers only record single layer, to keep quality, I have been told that a 2 hour show can fit on one disc without graphical support, that is no replays, fades and wipes etc, as they take up space on the disc. Any more and the video has to be compressed, which means loss of quality.

So the next time you look at a company’s DVD or Video, have a think about what it takes to make one and then you’ll realise that it is a bargain!

I have to mention UKPW who have been informing me of their shows recently, as it appears from their web site, they are a fledgling company who want to work towards bigger things in the UK scene. That’s great, they have jumped the hurdle that is the first show and are making profit from every show, or at least breaking even.

What is interesting about UKPW is their eclectic mix of experience and young talent, most are based around the London area (Hackney in particular) so they are going to have to have a strong resolve when it comes to competing with other promotions, but somehow I think they will do it.

What they do need is more support and only fans can provide it, so if you are in and around London, check their web site out (UKPW.com) and check for their next show, alternatively keep your eyes on Wrestling 101’s newsboard!

I was a little disappointed not to see the Pegasus Brothers on EPW’s latest card, but it isn’t surprising, I was told that EPW have over 50 wrestlers on their books, that’s a whopping amount to have, but in a way it is good. When there is competition for places you will find workers vying for the spot and putting on their best shows to try to keep the spot they have.

On the negative side, this can leave the more ambitious wrestlers feeling left out, especially if the shows come few and far between, in fact, with a 50 wrestler roster (say that three times fast), probability dictates that a worker could go the year without seeing a single bout!

FWA have pulled a classic draw tactic, AJ Styles will be facing an opponent, he has been booked, but we’re not going to tell you, to find out, you have to come to the show, I love it! It is an old tactic, but the old ones are the best ones and I know it will have drawn at least 50 more people to the show.

Then, when you think that’s it, out comes another, albeit rarer, draw tactic, a father against son match, certainly turned my head, how many UK shows have a father and son on the same roster? I shall certainly be keeping an eye on TWC.

WAW have gone old school! In a bid to cut down on controversy within their championship matches, they have stipulated old school British rules are now in force; still, I notice they haven’t used the “must attempt a pin after a slam” rule. Though old school rules aren’t a new idea (if you forgive me stating the obvious there), a lot of companies use the rules for special matches, so perhaps this is an attempt to slowly bring back the old way?

However, this may come at a cost, with audiences used to American style rules for over ten years now, it may alienate younger viewers, but dad’ll love it!

I’d like to say good luck to those working at Nu Breed for their show on 11th July, I always say this, but every trainee needs an audience to work with and without you going to see the academy shows then you are really hurting yourself. Academy shows give trainees lessons in entertainment that cannot be taught in the gym, yes they will probably make mistakes and yes they aren’t a big name, but without your support that experience will be lacking when they go onto full shows and who’s the loser in that? You, the paying public.

So, if you are around the Ray Grey Community Centre, Daisy Hill, Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne, about 2pm, then please pop in and help our UK young talent grow!

I had a bit of a queasy feeling in my stomach when I read NCW’s latest announcement, in which they claimed:

“At a time in the British wrestling industry when shows are cancelled as quickly as they are announced and the fans have their hopes built up by promoters claiming to be 'the next big thing' only to have them dashed when these people can't live up to their promises National Championship Wrestling made some grand and ambitious plans and delivered on them 100%”

Perhaps because it sounded to me a bit, well, underhanded in prose, like one of those washing powder ads, you know the ones. “Other powders claim to have whiter whites…”

I understand what they are trying to say, my point is others may not, in a time when the British wrestling industry is trying to get itself out of the stranglehold US wrestling has it in, making public comments about other promotions (aka the British wrestling industry) cancelling shows is not the way to go about it. Every promotion will have to cancel a show at some point in their existence and it is the most painful thing any promoter has to do, it is always a last minute thing as well, because everyone has tried in vain to solve the problem. However, I am the first to admit that I’m a criminal when it comes to not selecting prose correctly to convey what I mean, as anything can be misconstrued, especially by people who want to misconstrue it.

NCW are an exciting promotion, with well established UK names to show off and their own video production company (see above for costs), it appears that they have serious backers and are rolling in the cash.

It is more than likely that NCW are the next big thing, which is good, with their apparent financial backing perhaps they won’t be the only choice on TWC…

Well that is it for another week, if you haven’t already, check out Scott Future’s words in Future Shock, there are a few things even established wrestlers can learn there. Also check out my ex-training-practice-partner Chris Locke, I learnt a lot off this guy and he knows his wrestling inside out. He is posting articles on the Japanese scene and also his UK wrestling video collection.

Goldy is here next week with her insight into the goings on in the UK scene.

Keep watching those shows and supporting the scene.

Saracen



.

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