Welcome one and all once again to another weekly edition of the UK Scene. This week it’s going to be a bit different though as I bring you a special on my week spent down in Portsmouth at the FWA academy. As part of a university project myself and three others jumped in the car for a week by the sea and thanks to Mark Sloan a week spent doing a project on the FWA academy.
Just a quick message to all those people expecting my usual type column it will be returning next week so don’t panic. Sorry I haven’t been online much this week and I haven’t been posting in the forums or on the newsboards but rest assured it will be back to normal business this week.
After a 4 hour car trip from sunny old Cornwall we arrived tired but in good spirits for our first bit of filming which was at the academy junior’s session on Tuesday night. It had been almost a year since I last stepped foot in the building so was looking forward to seeing if anything had changed and to meet the new faces who could be the stars of tomorrow.
The academy is a place that photos just don’t do it justice. When you get in there you can’t help but be impressed and you can tell why it’s the best training facility in Europe and in my opinion has to feature highly as one of the best in the world. Mark has put a lot of investment and time in to the academy and it has really paid off.
When we got there we were greeted by Aviv Maayan the new golden boy of the FWA academy and after being able to watch him first hand for the first time later that week it was easy to see why. As the evening progressed the juniors came in for their session lead by Mark who was assisted by Aviv. Aviv took two new boys who had just joined the junior session in one ring whilst Mark took the regulars in to the other ring where they worked out.
As we filmed the action I was very impressed by the standard the juniors were at and to be honest was quite blown away. Must give a quick hello to Antony, Tom, Wade and the rest of the juniors who were at the sessions we filmed. They were really helpful throughout and were a pleasure to work with. Tom and Antony had a match coming up that weekend so it was a really good time to come and film.
On Wednesday Mark opened the academy up for us to get some shots we needed when the building was empty and even then you could still fell the atmosphere of the building. Looking at all the pictures on the walls of the guys that had been through the academy as well as all the posters from previous shows the FWA have promoted. We got some brilliant shots in and around the rings so a big thanks to Mark for that one.
On Thursday we came along to our 2nd junior’s session to film although there were fewer attendees to this one the regulars were still there under the guidance of Mark. We took this time to get the interviews we needed done. This was a great insight to the trainee’s thoughts and opinions on several issues so was really beneficial. It was good to balance their views against Mark’s who also gave us a brilliant interview.
So this lead us in to the day of the event (Powerplay 2) from the Buckland Community Centre in Portsmouth. We arrived at the venue just after 3pm to find Mark already organising the venue. The Buckland Community is at is says a very community based venue and its main hall is used to its full potential by Mark and his crew as this venue is becoming a regular stop for the academy events.
The card was looking very impressive with the likes of Burchill, James Tighe, Raj Ghosh and Mark Sloan himself. This was added to by the unannounced appearance of the Showstealer Alex Shane to top the card off. So as we filmed the event setting up we were really looking forward to the event starting.
When the venue had been set up it looked awesome with lighting rigs, ramps, and an entrance way which doubled up as a video screen which the live action was projected onto. Mark had to put together a very professional set up in keeping with the production values of main FWA shows. The video screen was to put to good effect during the show as with the help of a mixing desk shots from all the cameras were revolved to always give you the best view.
Now on to the show itself which was kicked off by two of the juniors we had been following Antony and Tom. Those two gave an impressive outing until they were interrupted by Alex Shane following on a storyline from a previous academy show. Alex as usual was up to his heel tactics beating on the two youngsters until Ross Jordan came down to challenge him to a match later that night. The stipulations were that if Alex lost he would forfeit any claims he had to a match against Raven at the next big FWA show and if Alex won Ross Jordan would have to leave the FWA.
There were a lot of standout performances from the night which included Rishi Ghosh, Aviv Maayan and Max Voltage who really caught the eye for me. Rishi is a brilliant entertainer and proved why he is thought so highly of, Aviv Maayan gave another polished performance and Max Voltage proved again why size doesn’t matter. Although this show wasn’t as heavily stacked with Main FWA roster stars as their last outing in Winchester I thought from a storyline and performance perspective the show was brilliant.
The night ended with Tom Beattie who was previously attacked by Alex Shane coming out to the aid of Ross Jordan to help him score a count-out upset victory over the Showstealer. It is good to see Tom and Antony being able to work with the likes of Ross Jordan and Alex Shane and hopefully their involvement in this storyline will continue.
After packing up and saying our goodbyes we left our week in Portsmouth behind and headed back to Cornwall with fond memories. It has made me more determined to try and catch some more academy shows as I was quite impressed by my first. I hope this has been an insightful view of the academy and its show for you the viewer, and has maybe inspired you to check out the academy or get to a show. So if it has, be sure to log on to: FWATraining.co.uk for more information.
Until next time,
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