Hello and welcome to the Future-Shock. I’d like to start on a bright note by congratulating my friend Chris Chavis (aka Tatanka). He has informed me he, and his family are expecting a baby boy! Chris still has the longest undefeated streak in WWE history by the way.
What’s Going Wrong?
This article is the first in a series that’s going to focus on one of the hottest topics in British Wrestling: The potential and possibilities open to new starter promotions.
Its fair to say that more than a handful of new promotions here in the UK, and in the States have made promises that they couldn’t deliver. These promises have raised the hopes of fans and wrestlers everywhere, and their set backs have set wrestlers and fans back too. We are again in the midst of several new wrestling promotions shouting loud. Will they deliver?
Unfortunately, where wrestlers and fans are concerned, the phrase “don’t get your hopes up” has become the philosophy. Having said that, there is one company, X Wrestling, that is inviting fans to do just that… to get your hopes up for what has been described as perhaps the biggest show in the UK, home grown that is, for years. I have stayed quiet on this topic so far, but since the name “Mr William” (yo, remember him?) came up in an interview I read on the net from X Wrestling, I guess I can have an opinion too. As a wrestler, I have an investment, much like the fans, in seeing that this industry progresses here in the UK. I have worked through bad gimmicks and politics, and duplicity, to stay around, and I think that deserves some credit. When you have travelled some miles, and stayed a few years, your opinion counts.
When you have travelled some miles, and stayed a few years, your opinion counts.
There has been a lot of speculation as to the validity of X Wrestling and I’m not in the least interested in digging up any dirt, should there be any, to undermine their efforts on your screen. I genuinely, as a wrestler hoping for better opportunities in the UK, wish for them succeed – and succeed massively. This is not an attack on X Wrestling either, as I could name atleast 3 other groups who are going the same way. This article will serve as an honest, general observation of what’s going wrong, and for those promoters too perfect to take some advice, God Bless you, and for those who listen to what I have to say, God Bless you too. You as the reader can decide where my advice could be used.
Quite often wrestlers are subjected to incredible scrutiny. Fans will tear apart everything from their match quality to their ring attire, and rightly so, but the promoter often gets away with bad booking, because if a match is bad fans generally blame the wrestlers involved. I’ve heard promoters in the past blaming the wrestlers for poor heat when they have booked 2 unknown baby faces against each other in a small hall. Those guys might give 100% and still get criticised for low heat levels. Ask some of the veterans and they will tell you, the “bad guy” is fundamental in riling up a crowd, so that the audience warm to the face. If you have two clean-cut guys in there simply wrestling, and they are not TV stars, where’s the heat factor in that? Go to Japan and watch this type of match and the crowd are silent in respect. Same can happen here. The odd round of applause sure, but screams of excitement.. that’s a tall order. How can a 10 year old boy shout “he’s cheating ref” if both ring warriors are playing the good guy? – I’ll tell you, the wrestlers usually take it upon themselves to decide who will play a temporary heel, purely because if they don’t, the hall will be quieter than the whispering son of a master whisperer. If the match goes well the promoter then gets the credit for making such a great booking and coming up with a nice story line. Ha. I digress, but it’s important to realise that the wrestler is not the only person responsible for match quality, much like only one actor isn’t responsible for the overall quality of a film (see: Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blonde 2)
This might ruffle some feathers!
Promoters do get flack that’s undeserved, but they get credit that should have gone to others, so it’s no more a critically difficult job than being a referee or a worker. The main difference of course is that promoters are the bosses, and they put the capital in.
But recently promoters have been held up to the same scrutiny as the wrestlers. It was a long time before Vince McMahon admitted to mainstream fans that he owned the WWF, and one might hazard a guess that says they would look differently upon him as an impartial commentator if they knew that he was writing both men’s cheques. Now that he is “out” we know that is indeed the case. Vince McMahon is a monster heel.
So in the columns the first “promoter quality” on the list will start with Age and Experience and we will move form there. A key factor in the success of any promoter and the promotion they are launching is maturity. This might ruffle some feathers! Catch you next time when we will take it from there!