I have taken some interest as to what X Wrestling have been up to recently. They have announced around 20 American names as I am sure most people will know, but the confusing thing to me is why a promoter, who has previous bad history would jump on to an idea so outrageous on literally his first day back on the job? Now, I talk with Phil on occasion, and I like him, and that is usually enough for me to trust someone, and in this case it is. However, surely the “smart” business plan would be to run small shows first, build up some respect (or regain it in this case) and then run a big show.
I love the super show idea, but thus far they haven’t been very successful. Wrestle Express, GWF are names you only have to mention to a UK fan, to get them started on why these super shows aren’t so super after all. However, I try to be positive, well OK, thats a lie, but I don’t seem to understand why the UK wrestling community, certainly online, is so hostile to a guy who seems genuinely up for this. I know for a fact, due to some sources that I can’t mention – That Phil has paid some wrestlers a percentage of there wage up front, and surely he’ll have to pay for all these airline tickets. Flights aren’t cheap, but the pre-ordering should cover that pretty easily.
One of the things that confused me so much, was that he has booked some wrestlers, who, no offence – suck. By that, I don’t mean they’re bad wrestlers, but if people in the US won’t book them on the decent shows – Then why would some recovering-promoter, looking to up his reputation (Surely! He registered the company for petes sake) book talent, that is going to cost him about 400 notes of his ticket sales? Sure, Nick Berk is a decent enough wrestler, but if Phil is booking to the Internet I presume that he would want someone that might draw more than 10 peoples attention, and maybe 2 out of those 10 people to the show, potentially making him £200 in total, so presuming he is working for £100, flight costs £400. That is £500 on two fans who make the promoter a grand total of £200 (£220 if they buy a T-Shirt each). That isn’t sensible, surely instead of booking 20 Americans, he could have booked 5 – D’Lo Brown & AJ Styles from what he has already and maybe another three wrestlers that would draw to the internet fans?
Don’t think I am being bias towards the Internet fans though; Mr. Lowe’s company is obviously trying to appeal to the Internet fans. Otherwise AJ Styles, Slyk Brown, and 95% of the X-Wrestling roster would be nobodies to casual fans. Also, what kind of “normal” fan would pay £100 to watch something they see 9/10 weeks on TNA!
Nevertheless, this is a chance for Phil Lowe to give fans confidence in the “super show” league. Maybe I will eat my positive words about the company come April, or perhaps I will have to write about what a failure/scam X-Wrestling was. Either way, I’ll be there.. Of course the biggest shock of all would be if Nick Berk really did draw two fans to pay £100 for a ticket, now THATS just scandalous!
Moving on from the promises and expectations that Phil Lowe has set for his new adventure, to something a little more practical, something that might actually pay off in the long term. I attended my first British Championship Wrestling show a few weeks ago and I have to say I was impressed. Sure there were no young Inoki’s at the show, I wasn’t expecting that either – But the fundaments of Colin McKays Scottish based promotion did more than impress me. I was planning on writing a review of the show as soon as I got back, but we managed to crash the car, slide up a wall and land in somebody’s garden. I was feeling quite dizzy after that so I still haven’t bothered writing it up.
The main points of the show were the appearance of Alex Shane with The Highlander in a superb tag match. Of course, The “Guv’nor” Carl Conroy did his usual comedic genius with his obvious overweight-ness. Red Lightning and Allan Grogan also had a super match, with some fast, hard hitting action. Members of the wZw Nu Breed were also put on display against Scotlands own BCW Training school students, this match featured some excellent moves and well-perfected sequences. To finish the night off we had D.O.A against Spitfire & Iceman – This was definitely one of the best UK matches I have ever seen. D.O.A went super-over with the fans, Iceman and Spitfire got some mean heat as well, so much so, when Ice came to talk to me during his match (Oh the pleasures of being an Internet celeb!) the people I were sitting next to said I should be ashamed of myself, as stupid as they were… I still felt kind of bad. Iceman took a nasty fall in the Cambuslang Bonus Ball Centre and has a bad heel injury, he gets his cast off on the 18th of January as far as I can remember, I wish him all the best. The same goes to Colin McKay who suffered a serious blow to the back and is facing long-term injury.
Certainly, BCW proved to me, that their fanbase was of a decent size, and their product was excellent. I was left with the thought (the one that was the last before we smashed into someones garden) that I would definitely go to see a BCW show again, given the chance.
What I am getting across by looking at two separate, un-related products and promotions is the difference in UK wrestling, sort of a social division between the dreamers (who, I hope prove me wrong) and the true UK “heros”. Surely we should work on our homegrown talent, sure, the only UK wrestlers I know of that can do 360’s off the top ropes are Jody Fleisch, Jonny Storm & Enigma – But if we work on our own talent hard enough it might just pay off. Alternatively, we could pay the price for bringing in “already finished” products, such as AJ & D’Lo Brown.
Personally, I think that we should work harder on the UK scene, however, without serious investment, that won’t be possible. The UK community needs to stick together, stupid divisions over stupid things (not naming any names) shouldn’t matter. The UK scene can only get better with dedication and hard work to bring it back to its former glory. Wrestling is always going to be controversial, and that we can’t change, but why doesn’t the UK scene work hard to try and make the UK scene a better place.
X-Wrestling, Wrestle Express & GWF’s can all get on with importing the talent, thats all good and dandy – But the real problem lies with them. If a fan decides to spend £50 on a ticket, and be disappointed – Then its unlikely they will spend £10 on another ticket. However, I hope that X-Wrestling will be able to change that, and that we can have UK shows and super shows, that in my mind, would be the best solution for everyone.
If this social division could work together to bring UK & US talent together, the huge profits and the huge losses could balance each other out, and most promotions would be better off for it. However, I am not for a minute suggesting that every small promotion teams up and puts the best of their best together, nor am I suggesting that the bigger promotions with more cash finance the smaller ones. What I suggest is a compromise, some sort of union, of course I am talking hypothetically and I know if most promotions can’t have an inter-promotional title (with the exception of wZw) then they’re unlikely to ever have any kind of an alliance to work together, but, hypothetically, UK wrestling could seriously become a sport once again – If you look at the bigger picture – Football, Rugby, Boxing, Golf, Cricket, all have some sort of leading body, someone who decides what, if promotions could be like clubs, instead of facing each other, running healthy competition, IF that was to happen – Thats what would make the UK scene a better place.
In the real world, I can only see UK wrestling improve at the slow rate it is doing so at the moment. Although, with that being said, slow improvement is better than no improvement and it will pay off in the long run.
That brings me to my conclusion – Frontier Wrestling. The big FWA. The FWA have adapted a kind of style like this within themselves. Developing UK talent by making bigger, respected US and international talent job and make the UK talent look good. Sure, sometimes its blatantly obvious – But still, it is a blueprint for UK wrestling, and how it must work if there is to be any improvement.
I have a few theories and ideas, all just ideas of course, about the future of UK wrestling and where it could lead to – Although it would most likely require some sort of unity, and at the moment, that is just not possible.
I’ll leave you to work out which you’d rather support, of course both provide entertainment at different levels and it is all about adapting your perception of wrestling to what is on offer. Of course, you could be like me and support both.
X-Wrestling or your local UK promotions big show, whats to be picked? The big show that will cost you £200 to go to, with a large chance of being screwed, or your promotions big show, maybe £25 with guaranteed entertainment for the whole family? I know which is mine at the moment, but I’ll keep it to myself.
Thanks for reading,