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ST: What does TV do for the UK Scene?
by Saz on 27 November 2007

Being a professional wrestler can be such an enjoyable experience, yet, sometimes such a frustrating one.

There is that old school opinion that wrestling is built from respect and that your time and your actions deserve the opportunities that you get. I know my place in the scheme of things, I have my rung on the ladder, but regardless, when it comes to the show, it is just as valuable as those who rest on the rungs above me and I appreciate that there are people below me who contribute to a show just as much.

The frustration lies in the false buddy buddy attitude of just getting on. I have seen people being false just for exposure and this culture is getting more popular in the UK Scene. It worries me that if you are someone’s mate you’ll get more exposure than someone who works damn hard for their reputation.

The easiest route though is TV exposure, there are so many wrestlers who crave it. Even I must admit the appeal of watching yourself wrestle but it is becoming the wrong goal I feel, the wrestler’s first duty is to entertain the audience and, as I have heard criticisms of some of the TV based wrestling companies, the focus can be lost from the live audience to the TV audience.

Remember that the UK Scene is predominantly small promotions working small regions, so national coverage is a little bit of overkill. No, really, why the hell would someone from Portsmouth visit a promotion in Liverpool?

Which brings the mystery of the draw, what exactly makes a draw? A famous person? Someone from TV? Let me ask you, unless they are from popular wrestling culture (i.e. WWE) would your average wrestling punter know or care about your wrestling channel champion?

The other question is would a TV watcher get off his/her butt for anything but a TV program?

1PW has proved in the past that if you have enough draws you’ll pull the interest of a good base of smark, TV fan and wrestling fan to make a reputation for yourself, but we have all learnt from 1PW that draws cost more money than is reasonable to run a promotion.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of good draws are classic workers, Johnny Storm for instance knows how to entertain an audience and help his fellow worker at the same time, I should know, I have worked with him and alongside him enough to pick up his ethics to a show. Good draws can inspire a locker room to put on the best show they can and that is what you need to bring up an audience watching your show live.

Brandon Thomas summed it up succinctly to me once, he said “The worst thing is with a really good show is that video [or TV] can never show the atmosphere of a show, there is always something missing.”

And you know what, he is right!

I feel sorry for our TV watching UK Scene fans, they are missing out on the integral part of what makes UK wrestling so great, the atmosphere.

Number of views: 8566

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4 Responses to “ST: What does TV do for the UK Scene?”

  • Johnny sotrm once was charging a fiver for autographed pictures and not 10 feet away, Mick Foley was giving them away for free…guess where I went ;)

  • Mick probably recieved a decent payoff to be there while guys like Johnny and the other popular UK guys really have to make every Buck they can! Micks recently admited that he’s not in it for the money any more, I think he’s just waiting for that 1 decent match to bow out with.

    On topic, TV time gets you noticed but since the World of Sport days no-one has had the charisma to draw fans from their living rooms to the town halls. My gimmick is 5 years old but I’ve moved a lot and few if any people will remember me at all but up here in Jockland I’ve worked the same streets in 2 towns for 14 months and people realise that when I come out that they want to boo me out of the building! – Time and effort and tweaking the act a bit every month. Now the guys on the card are drawing 100+ each show and I’m a part of it that the regulars expect to see now and I appreciate it a lot. Maybe we’ll move to another town and start again but at this rate I’ll be retired by the time the young’uns get any real money from it – but that’s the way it is for now.

    Respect where it’s due
    JIMI

  • Trust in my words there’s one real problem going on in the UK that’s hurting the sport; the talent is here, great workers, great shows all over the UK but what do you see on YouTube? Stop editing the sound of the fans cheering, screaming and putting stupid music in it’s place there nothing there for them just guys rolling around please please leave it as a show!

    Then just maybe you may get someone with the funds to see that Brit wrestling has a place on TV.

    Just a thought there for you guys posting your matches on YouTube it isn’t cool, groovy or anything like that to edit the fans out.

  • Bit of an old thread this but I thought i’d see if maybe we can get this discussion going.

    There are so many promotions in the UK right now from the slick and professional to the ones that are barely a notch above backyard wrestling.

    However if you stopped someone on the streets and asked them to name a famous wrestler 90+% of the time you’d get Hulk Hogan/Rock/Austin or other such American as the answer. Ask for a famous UK Wrestler chances are (again 90+% of the time) you’d get either British Bulldog or Big Daddy as your response.

    Reason being… TV!

    I also don’t think there is currently a promotion in the UK that could ever be our answer to the WWE which means that no matter how good some of our UK stars might be most of the UK will never see them unless they get snapped up by one of the US big boys!

    All we have in the UK seems to be an abundance of “DAD CAM” (shoddy footagee filmed by some zoom happy moron with their Dads camcorder) video clips on youtube. None of which inspire me to go and attend a show by the promotion that spawned the clip.

    The Fight Network is long gone and doesn’t look to be coming back and even when it was the Wrestling Channel (or TWC: Fight) screening a good number of hours of current UK wrestling the production values of the shows on there we’re so far below what they have over the pond it only ever served to show just how much better they do it over there.

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